10pm on the eve of the release of Greta Van Fleet’s first full album, Anthem of the Peaceful Army, I feel compelled to share my thoughts and opinions on the singles that have been released in the past few weeks.
First and foremost, I don’t know if releasing half their music ahead of time was the greatest decision. As a fan, of course I’m stoked to have new music, but also as a fan I think there’s something magical about listening to a full album of songs that you’ve never heard before. Anyhow, here are my actual thoughts, track by track.
The first single we got to hear was When the Curtain Falls. This song quickly became a favorite of mine. It stays true to the sound GVF produced on their double EP, From the Fires. You’ve got the thundering drums, iconic electric guitar sound, backed by the smooth bass, and the striking vocals. It’s got more of the nostalgic classic rock sound that they’ve become known for. 10/10, this one’s a hit.
Next in the released singles was Watching Over. When I first heard this track I immediately though, “oh they’re taking a little bit of a different route here. I like this”. Watching Over has the same heavy classic rock sound, but it’s a bit toned down from what we had heard thus far from this Michigan-based band. It’s got much more of a psychedelic feel, as mirrored in certain aspects of When the Curtain Falls. This is the first track where I can really start to hear this band trying to break from the comparisons that have haunted them thus far, and they’re doing it successfully without totally changing their sound.
Third release goes to Lover, Leaver. Because I do too much research on bands that I like, I’m totally aware that this is a bit of an older track, and GVF has been performing this song on the road most of their tour so far. I say that because, this track lines up much more with the sound of From the Fires. It’s great, don’t get me wrong! I love the sound, so of course I’m stoked to have more of it. You can’t beat the thundering drums and wailing vocals! But I will admit, I’m interested to see how this one fits into the upcoming album. I also noticed that they have 2 different versions of this song listed on their tracklist for Anthem of the Peaceful Army, so I’m interested to see what sets the two apart.
Second to last in the single release line up is Anthem. This song really struck me because it’s an entirely different sound! Stripped down to acoustics, Anthem really allowed me to focus more on the lyrics of this one. And I think because of this, it earns it’s title of Anthem. This is a song of a generation. It’s a song for a movement. I don’t want to jump the gun here and get too excited, but I think it being the title track of the album shows that this album is going to be really important in GVF’s career, and possibly even in rock and roll history.
And the final single release that came out just 3 days before the release of their album, You’re the One. And baby, is it ever the one. This acoustic love ballad is just magic. This initially feels like a much softer moment for Greta, but I think it’s just different. The electric guitar and big drum sounds take a back seat so the acoustic guitar and organ can really have their shining moment. Lead singer Josh’s vocals are almost unrecognizable at the beginning of the track, but boom to their full howling sound about halfway through, solidifying that Greta Van Fleet sound.
I think that You’re the One and Anthem show a different, more raw side of this band, and accompanied by Lover, Leaver, Watching Over, and When the Curtain Falls, this album is going to be just truly dynamic. I’m glad to hear these boys breaking from the comparisons that have followed them thus far in their career. It’s an honor to be compared to the greats, but it certainly says something to be able to make a name for yourself besides that.
That being said, I’m incredibly pumped to hear this album tomorrow, and more than likely obsess over it like I have the rest of their music.