I believe that every good song requires a great guitar solo. A guitar solo adds an additional layer of creativity and funk to a song, often inspiring people to play along with their own air guitar. Guitar solos are emotional and energetic and for their duration the listener is almost physically connected to the song, resulting in an unbreakable and unforgettable musical bond. Because of my love for guitar solos, I have compiled the following list of what I believe to be some of the grooviest guitar solos in indie rock. I hope that you will enjoy them as much as I do. Click on each of the song titles to listen to them.
BOYO is the musical endeavor of Los Angeles, CA based multi-instrumentalist Robert Tilden. Active in the DIY scene since he was 16, the now 22 year-old Tilden creates diverse psych-pop at an almost breakneck speed. Having released five albums since 2016, Tilden continues to work on music at a nonstop pace – with his most recent single “Cut Me Out” being released on May 26th, 2019.
“Freaky” is penultimate track off of his genre-defining 2018 project Dance Alone. This track features many of the well-known BOYO archetypes such as down-trodden guitar riffs and high-pitched, childlike vocals. Occurring about halfway through the song, this guitar solo is repetitious and hard-hitting, repeating itself in a cyclical manner. The sharp and metallic tone of the guitar almost slaps the listener in the face and grabs them by their shirt collar, keeping a tight hold on their attention and leaving a faint red hand print of remembrance on their face.
In an effort to craft their own brand of zestful and vibrant indie-rock, Mustard Service is the culmination of 5 energetic twenty-somethings expressing their creativity and passion for music. Their only full-length release, a ten track album titled Zest Pop, is full of funky and smooth tracks that could be heard anywhere from a house party to a coffee shop. Based out of Miami, Florida, the music of Mustard Service reflects the laid-back and rowdy environment of their beachfront hometown.
“Oh, Honey Baby” appears near the end of Zest Pop and serves as a spirited and satisfying climax to a thoroughly enjoyable listening experience. Before concluding with a refrain of the chorus, this track breaks out into a complex and complicated guitar solo. The solo consists of a popping guitar, swinging back and forth with gusto across the musical landscape. With what is perhaps my favorite guitar solo, Mustard Service provides an excellent precedent of what exactly a fun and funky track can be.
If you enjoyed their ebullient and enthusiastic tunes, check out an interview I did with them before their show in Austin in 2018.
Broadcasting from the Philippines, Ralph Lawrence Reyes is an “internet artist” who has created major waves internationally. Under the moniker of Mellow Fellow, Reyes’ releases sad love songs with introspective lyrics and jizz-jazz inspired instrumentals. Capitalizing on the DIY sound and work ethic, the tunes of Mellow Fellow are both new and nostalgic.
Being his most upbeat installment to date, “New Years Eve” is an energetic track revolving around an unfortunate incident on one of the most exciting holidays. With this guitar solo the reverb is turned up to 10 as cascading guitar notes pierce across the soundwaves. This solo is short and sweet, leaving the listener craving for more.
Mac DeMarco is a DIY singer-songwriter from Edmonton, Alberta. Well-known for his slacker-rock musical style and care-free persona, DeMarco creates off-kilter tunes which he has self-labeled as “jizz-jazz.” Having released 6 full-length projects since 2012, DeMarco’s music has gradually transformed from grounded jangle-pop to simplistic and soft indie jams.
Off of his fourth and most concise album, Another One, “The Way You’d Love Her” is a love-never-found song whose lazy musical tone reflects the beachy scene of the album’s artwork. This track’s guitar solo is as groovy as they come, complete with high-pitched notes and some bottom-of-the-neck shredding. The notes hit so sharply throughout the solo that the listener can almost see DeMarco wincing with musical pleasure as he hits them again and again with groovy bliss.