This past week, pop producer Greg Kurstin, who has worked with the likes of Beyoncé and Kelly Clarkson, declared that guitar music is at an "all time low," especially in the United States. Anyone who follows music that goes even slightly off the mainstream knows that this claim is absolutely false, and here are eight current artists (all American, by the way) to prove it.

1. Ty Segall

If you took a 13th Floor Elevators record and speed it up from 33 to 45 rpm, it would probably sound like Ty Segall. After Jay Reatard passed away in 2010, Segall stepped right up to take over as the country's leading punk auteur.

2. Thee Oh Sees

Coming from the same San Francisco scene as Ty Segall, Thee Oh Sees take old school psychedelic garage rock and combine it with propulsive krautrock rhythms, busting out some of the best riffs of the last decade.

3. St. Vincent

Though St. Vincent's music can be heavily synth-based, Annie Clark is still a true visionary when it comes to guitar playing, sounding like literally nobody that came before her. Her playing simply has to be heard to be understood.

4. Screaming Females

One of the greatest guitarists I've ever seen in person is Screaming Females' Marissa Paternoster, whose fingers fly across the fretboard so quickly that it's barely comprehendible. Her talent extends beyond her soloing: while most guitarists simply play chords while they sing, Paternoster manages to play intricate lead riffs while simultaneously singing.

5. Deerhunter

There may not be any mind-blowing guitar solos on any Deerhunter album, but the way in which Bradford Cox and his bandmates are able to conjure such heavenly sounds from a guitar is masterful. Deerhunter's most recent album Monomania takes the band's artsy sonic explorations and applies them to a brutal garage rock canvas.

6. Real Estate

Real Estate's laidback sound can't exactly be called "rock," but that doesn't mean the guitar playing isn't pure ear candy. With a reliance on melody and atmosphere, Real Estate brings a level of subtlety and control reminiscent of the Smiths and fellow New Jerseyans the Feelies.

7. Kurt Vile

Philadelphia's Kurt Vile plays in a similarly dreamy style to Real Estate, but with a more eclectic edge, shifting back and forth between folky fingerstyle playing and a Pavement-inspired take on classic rock conventions.


8. Jack White

There was a time when the White Stripes were hailed as saviors of rock music, and while I think rock music never really needs saving, Jack White did emerge as one of the most talented guitarists of his generation, and the most inventive guitarist anywhere close to the current mainstream.