Things can get weird in isolation, and then add unemployment to the mix and you’ve got yourself a recipe for some wild, psychedelic trippy-ness. Such were the conditions leading to Les Moontunes’ dark, strutting, and stunning new single “Elephant Wizard” off their forthcoming concept album of the same name. Check it out on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCn3cCPuEXE
During the thick of isolation in the Covid-19 pandemic, Les Moontunes’ frontman Miguel Dumaine had been laid off from work and his days began bleeding into one another, forming one long, blurry stretch unto nothingness. So he dug deep into his imagination and created a fictional character he christened the Elephant Wizard.
But the Elephant Wizard’s story really began to take shape once the band did a residency in Sussex, New Brunswick. By spending time among the inspirational hills and rivers of rural NB, the band members’ imaginations flourished and the story of the mythical creature trumpeted to life. With their fuzz pedal-tinged single “Elephant Wizard” serving as a sneak peek, we soon discover that the Elephant Wizard is a badass mofo who’s about to stomp into the future to fight off evil and find a better life for himself on Planet Metal.
In the early creation days of Les Moontunes, the band regularly played together in a dark basement, illuminated solely by a cheap plastic mini-disco ball. The light dappled the room with psychedelic revolving colors that created a special atmosphere and inspired their unique style of music. Some of this inspiration is reflected in the atmospheric, ’70s-style lyric video for “Elephant Wizard.”
Listen on Spotify here: https://open.spotify.com/track/0MBUC60X4PGjceEpcQUCse?si=b3e56f4969454283&nd=1
As for the album itself, Elephant Wizard is a slight change in direction from Les Moontunes’ self-titled debut. Having been influenced by heavier music throughout their lives, the band aimed to paint the Elephant Wizard’s story with heavy, hard hitting tones that paid homage to the sounds of some of their favorite bands of the ’60s and ’70s, while also infusing the record with the modern jazz/soul aesthetic they’ve displayed in their previous work.
This sophomore album also features the band’s two drummers, which since 2019 have been a driving force behind Les Moontunes’ unique sound. The rhythm section (drums, keys, and bass) were recorded live off the floor, which played a major role in the album’s more natural feel.
Producer Mike Trask’s use of analog tape for recording aligned with the tones the band were seeking for this record. In contrast to their debut album, where all the music was written prior to going into the studio, Elephant Wizard contains many sections that were written during the recording process, which adds an element of spontaneity that can be heard in the music.
Winners of the 2021 Music NB awards for both ‘Breakthrough Artist of the Year’ and ‘Video of the Year ‘for their single “Paper Boat”, the seven-piece Les Moontunes released their self-titled debut album in 2021, solidifying their place as rising stars in the Canadian music scene.
All seven members of Les Moontunes are Acadians. Acadians are known for their kitchen parties and musical storytelling, and Les Moontunes’ work has mostly been created from long nights jamming and improvising together. They are part of a group of artists from the East Coast that’s reinventing what an Acadian band sounds like, sharing their culture with the world through their electrifying art. Fans of soul, jazz, hip-hop, and metal will be captivated by this band of groovy cosmonauts, who blend catchy grooves with ambient interstellar jams.