Add Greta Van Fleet to your playlist.
GVF is a modernized blast from the past. They have been a prominent part of the new age music scene since 2017 with the release of their first hard rock single “Highway Tune.” The Michigan four-piece consists of brothers Josh, Jake, Sam Kiska and Danny Wagner.
In 2017, they released two EP’s, “Black Smoke Rising” and “From the Fires.” Their first studio album “Anthem of the Peaceful Army” was released in October 2018 and was critically acclaimed.
Fans look forward to the band’s second studio album, “The Battle at Garden’s Gate,” which will release in April 2021. So far, three singles from it, “My Way, Soon,” “Age of Machine” and “Heat Above” have been released. These three songs all offer the continued sci-fi expression and ‘70s rock vibe.
Here are four GVF songs that stumble into the dimensions of an experimental, bonafide classic rock-like sound.
“Safari Song” is the second single off their EP “Black Smoke Rising.” To some, this tune starts off sounding much like the intro to the popular 1990s television series “Friends.” The original version of the song had more percussion in it, as mentioned by Sam Kiska. In comes the thunderous drumming from Wagner followed by Josh’s powerhouse of a scream. The lyrics are exuberantly catchy and upbeat, expressing a passionate take on a relationship with a girl.
“Oh mama when you give your lovin,’ when you give your love, you drive me crazy,” sang Josh.
“Brave New World’’ is the ninth track from GVF’s first studio album “Anthem of the Peaceful Army.” In a way, “Brave New World’’ feels much like a dark protest song when reading the lyrics out loud.
“Kill fear, the power of lies,” sang Josh. “For we will not be hypnotized.”
“Brave New World” is a nod to the Aldous Huxley novel of the same name. The 1932 novel pertains to the fear and dangers of technology. The song displays a deeper, dystopian tone in comparison to their other work.
Josh’s vocals move at a much slower tempo in this one. Overall, the sound is haunting, yet enticing.
“Watching Over,” the fourth track and second single from “Anthem of the Peaceful Army,” incorporates a psychedelic feel with astounding guitar work. This jam is rather mid-tempo and the lyrics are heavy as they allude to the severity of climate change. It’s essentially a response to society ignoring the issues at hand and illustrates the band’s hope for future generations.
“And it’s our demise with the water rising and the air so thin, still the children smiling, can we see no sin,” sang Josh.
GVF is often accused of ripping off Led Zeppelin. They started to turn heads and gain attraction after covering Zeppelin’s rough classic “Whole Lotta Love” back in 2015. While comparing both versions of the song, there aren’t many differences.
Criticism rolled in not too long after the release of their first single, “Highway Tune,” from their debut EP “Black Smoke Rising.” This is mainly due to the wailing vocals and distinct phrases like “Oh mama,” from Josh that remind many of Zeppelin’s lead singer Robert Plant. Though they may have been a large influence on them, it’s easier to just sit back and appreciate GVF’s ability to cultivate a sound many bands strive for today. Revel in it.
Everyone will sound like someone at one point or another, and that’s a universal truth.
However, these guys bring their own refreshing dynamic and flair as a retro-rock act among today’s music scene.
You can’t beat that.