Polarizing rock band Greta Van Fleet will return this summer with its next album, Starcatcher, which was produced by Nashville veteran Dave Cobb. It is out on July 21 through Lava/Republic Records. The first single, “Meeting the Master,” is out now (April 7).
Greta Van Fleet says the track “veers into an esoteric world heeded by the word of a wise teacher. Sung in the voice of a devout believer, and eventual group exclamation, the song details the love these fervent followers have for their teacher and their firm belief in his vision. It’s an exotic spiritual journey. A dark comedy that inevitably ends in chaos.”
Led by brothers Josh, Jake, and Sam Kiszka, Greta Van Fleet emerged from Frankenmuth, Mi., in 2016 straight into a major-label bidding war for its services. The group’s sound is overwhelmingly influenced by and reminiscent of Led Zeppelin, particularly due to vocalist Josh Kiszka’s Robert Plant-style range and phrasing. Plant himself has joked that Josh Kiszka borrowed his singing voice from “someone I know very well.”
Still, the derivative nature of the music certainly hasn’t impacted its chart success. Greta Van Fleet’s first two albums, 2018’s Anthem of the Peaceful Army and 2021’s The Battle at Garden’s Gate, both debuted at No. 1 on Billboard‘s Top Rock Albums chart. The group’s debut EP, 2017’s From the Fires, won the Grammy for Best Rock Album.
The Zeppelin comparisons will once again be tough to duck, however, as “Meeting the Master” resembles a genetic crossbreed between the alternately tuned-acoustic guitar vibes of the legendary quartet’s “That’s the Way” and the full-band bombast of the second half of “Ten Years Gone.”
As for the concept of Starcatcher, guitarist Jake Kiszka says, “We didn’t really have to force or be intense about writing, because everything that happened was very instinctual. If anything, the record is our perspective, and sums up where we are as a group and individually as musicians.”
“We had this idea that we wanted to tell these stories to build a universe,” adds drummer Danny Wagner. “We wanted to introduce characters and motifs and these ideas that would come about here and there throughout our careers through this world.”
Greta Van Fleet will perform at Atlanta’s Shaky Knees festival and Memphis’ Beale Street Festival the weekend of May 5, as well as at the Sea.Hear.Now festival in mid-September in Asbury Park, N.J.
Here is the tracklist for Greta Van Fleet’s Starcatcher:
“Fate of the Faithful”
“Waited All Your Life”
“The Falling Sky”
“Sacred the Thread”
“The Indigo Streak”
“Meeting the Master”
“Farewell for Now”