Edited by Brianna Garza
On July 21st, 2023, one of my new favorite albums was released. Hailing from Frankenmuth, Michigan, Grammy award-winning rock band, Greta Van Fleet released their third studio and concept album, Starcatcher, and it's already gotten so much acclaim as one of their best albums yet. It is also nominated for their second Grammy award in 2024 for Best Rock Album, going up against legends such as Metallica and Foo Fighters. Personally, it's one of my favorites already.
Brothers, Josh Kiszka, Jake Kiszka, Sam Kiszka, and their best friend Danny Wagner have been touring the country on and off for the last few years to play shows from their previous albums, Anthem of the Peaceful Army and The Battle at Gardens Gate, along with their first EP, From the Fires. Having just finished their Dreams in Gold tour in May and on July 24th, their Starcatcher World Tour began in their new hometown of Nashville, Tennessee. Here are my thoughts on each track from their new album! You can catch them on their Starcatcher World Tour now, check out the tour dates here! (I do highly recommend seeing them live, I've done it three times and every show was a different experience.)
Track 1: 'Fate of the Faithful' - Coming in at 4:46, this was possibly the best way to start an album, in my opinion. It gives melodic rock and I do believe this song starts with the lore left behind on their last album The Battle at Gardens Gate. "We fought for the fable. But instead, we burn. In the end of time. Left an empty urn." This is also the first of Jake's many guitar solos, which are part of my reasoning for loving this song so much.
Track 2: 'Waited All Your Life' - This song comes in at 4:26, and it is the story of four brothers who have fought their way through life. It is a softer rock song with a welcoming tune. This song ironically is lower on my list of favorites on the album, but it is still an amazing anthem from the boys. "Waited all your life. Come from so far away. And do you intend to stay?" This track is the perfect addition to the album and the setlist.
Track 3: 'The Falling Sky' - One of my favorite tracks on the album, coming in at 3 minutes 38 seconds. This song is one of the singles that dropped for the album, after Meeting the Master. The music video is a beautiful representation of the elements. This song to me has one of my favorite choruses' from any of their songs. "I don't wanna lose this time. I just wanna let it pass. Woah, woah, woah. Woah, holding up the falling sky." Also, in the live version of the song, the guitarist, Jake Kiszka plays the harmonica during the song. Lyrically and musically it is one of the best songs on the album.
Track 4: 'Sacred The Thread' - As one of the longer songs on the album at 5 minutes and 21 seconds, every second of it is worth it. This song is one that Josh, the frontman, wrote about how the elaborate jumpsuits he wears on stage every night are like armor for him. This song was perfect as he had, just the month prior, publicly come out as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. He spoke about how he's used his suits (that he designs himself and gets brought to life by his costume designer Amber). "I've caught the wind in a kite of dreams. In a flight of seams."
Track 5: 'Runway Blues' - This song is the shortest and it is an intermission song on the album, coming in at only 1:17. This song is very much high throttle and full of energy to keep you wanting to listen to the rest of the album. Though I have heard that it wasn't a favorite of the lead singer, however, it is still a fantastic track and very energetic. "Touch down in San Francisco. Bound for New York."
Track 6: 'Indigo Streak' - Track number six comes in at just over 4 minutes, and it is one of my favorites on the album. In this song, you get to hear all of the boys singing, which is something rare. But occasionally they do provide backup vocals on some songs. But the last time I heard them all sing together was during Black Smoke Rising. This song to me sounds the most like Led Zeppelin, the iconic band that they've gotten compared to ever since their inception as a band in 2012. The lyrics in this song paint a fantastic story and some of the lyrics from the chorus also get stuck in my head during the day. "The painter, a prophet so high. Into the ether. Ready for the garden." It feels like a nod back to the story behind their last album The Battle at Gardens Gate.
Track 7: 'Frozen Light' - With a countdown provided to us by the drummer Daniel Wagner, the track is 4 and a half minutes long and it is a story of four brothers finding their way through after a long battle and voyage to find freedom. It follows the story that has been set in place since the first Greta Van Fleet album. The power of the Peaceful Army is shown in this song as it shows the aftermath of the battle that occurred in the previous two albums. "Here to guide us, the long way home. Four brothers searching for a meal."
Track 8: 'The Archer' - This is the third longest song on the album at exactly 5 minutes, but it is lyrically the best when it comes to the story of the album. The story of the Archer is one of success and failure. It is in the midst of battle with the archer not wanting to fight anymore. "Torn, I turn to my bow, Sara. Torn, I turn to my arrow, Sara." Sara is not referring to the name, but is referring to the Hebrew definition of 'Princess.' In the live performances, it is when Josh is the most vulnerable as well, as he does many costume changes throughout the show, but at this time is only clad in his pants. However, my favorite line in the song is the first as it goes: "Vengeance is a bow. And arrows only justice when fired."
Track 9: 'Meeting The Master' - This was the first single released off the album and it comes in at five minutes and twelve seconds. This song to me represents the death of the peaceful army that fought hard during a war that had been going on throughout the other two albums. The music video for the song is full of symbolism and it is just magical, truly. Jake plays the acoustic guitar to start the song out and it is a perfect entrance into the world of Starcatcher. "What a day to travel faster. Take my trip around the sun."
Track 10: 'Farewell For Now' - This is the final song on the album coming in at nearly four and a half minutes. This is also usually the finale song during the shows on the tour as the song implies it is their way of saying 'farewell for now'. To me, it feels like their way of that they will see us again at the shows. "And I wish we all could stay. But I bid you a farewell." This song is the best way to end the album, it has a sense of finality. The boys did a fantastic job making this album as magical and as conceptually stunning as they have. The story behind each song is up for interpretation as always, but I think they did a good job completing the story of the Peaceful Army.
Greta Van Fleet