Best New Indie – Zoe Guigueno, Clean Cut Kid, mmeadows, Elephants and Dogs

Zoe Guigueno profiles a rare experience on her new single Queen of My Domain.  Written as a secret Santa gift for her Aunt who is one of the only women truck drivers on her unit, the song is both a tribute and a reflection on individualism and empowerment.  Zoe’s performance rings with conviction and confidence.  She taps into the small human quips that color this experience. 

I am the Queen of my Domain, nobody’s taking that away. Nobody’s sweet talking me.  I go to the movies on my own…”

Lyrically Queen Of My Domain recalls iconic working class storytellers like Springsteen and Kathleen Edwards.  It ’s dressed in a stylistic indie package in the spirit of Feist and the aforementioned Edwards.  Guigueno and band tap into a groove, and the lyrics infect it with feeling.  A heightened poetic awareness pulls this out of the vibe space and into the realm of storyteller; a facet known to icons Jackson Browne and Dawes.  Guigueno aims to continue the tradition of immortalizing our every day experience in song.  Working class heroes who’ve earned their forever moment in the spotlight. 

Discover Queen of My Domain now on our Best New Indie Playlist 

Clean Cut Kid

Pick us up and never put us down.  Clean Cut Kid brought us to our feet with their new single Inside My Head.  A classic folk rock offering with psych pop appeal, the sonic tweaks offer intriguing flavor to the songs organic founding.  The guitars and keyboards are dressed with effects known to psych pop, but the groove is classic Laurel Canyon.  We found hints of Cat Stevens and Joni Mitchell in the songwriting.  The overall affect is charming.  Paired with the singers unique impassioned almost falsetto delivery, Inside My Head realizes its foreshadowed potential.  

The Kid is catching on.  With several editorial playlists showing love, Clean Cut Kid has been blessed by the almighty algorithm.  The accolades are well deserved.  Inside My Head is a fresh intoxicating single unlike anything we’ve heard to date. 

Enjoy Inside My Head now on our Best New Indie Playlist


The hook is straight fire.  That was our first impression of Baby-By, the new single from mmeadows.  Classic pop appeal, it’s as if the XX produced Sza.  It also has the instant charm of new groove icons Sylvan Esso and Christine and the Queens.  Baby-By also connects with recent innovations in alternative R&b, injecting retro appeal and sacred melodic vibes known to Kate Bush and Peter Gabriel.  

mmeadows includes Kristin Slipp (Dirty Projectors) and Cole Kamen-Green (collaborated with Beyonce and Lorde).  We’re big fans of Slipp’s contributions to the Projectors catalog. It’s no wonder Baby-By is a beautiful collaboration of art pop and a dose of the familiar.  The contrast of the two collaboraters offers an opportunity for great art.  They’ve been dripping out singles since the release of their 2002 EP Who Do You Think You Are? Baby-by has the sweeping chorus needed to make them a household name in the world of indie pop.

Hear Baby-By now on our Best New Indie Playlist

Elephants and Dogs

We got entangled in the catchy slacker psych pop of Everybody’s Smiling Nobody’s Happy.  The 8 offerings of dreamy melancholy that define the new album from Toronto based artist Elephants and Dogs marries aesthetic with clever compositions.  It’s heard on the opening Seventh Circle, a lofi psyched out urban pop jam with hints of T Rex and The Velvet Underground. 

The subsequent Reckless Abandon adheres to a similar tonal palette, but with more shoegaze appeal.  There’s evidence of Beach House with the writing sensibility of Kurt Vile, and an obvious affinity for lofi underground sonic designs.  The singles Black Sheep and Coffin are slightly more crisp and textured, offering Mac Demarco like crossover appeal.  

The atmospheric trippy interlude of Goodbye Neighborhood reveals deeper intentions.  Everybody’s Smiling Nobody’s Happy is a complete concept in resistance to the new single standard.  The rock-out proto punk madness of VMC is just more evidence that Elephants and Dogs thrives in contempt of convention.  It’s also another example of how he might unravel a rocking fury in concert.  We can dig it.  The sneaky late album treasure might be overlooked if you refuse to follow through.  The fury would appeal to fans of Car Seat Headrest and Geese.  

Dig into the entire release for full immersion.  Get started with Seventh Circle on our Best New Indie Playlist.

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