Words by Jordan Dzwiniel
Greta Van Fleet have returned after touring for the past two years to announce their extremely anticipated third album, Starcatcher, set for release on July 21st.The band have released their first single, ‘Meeting the Master’,which is written and recorded by the band in RCA Studios in Nashville.
The band consist of Josh Kiszka (Vocalist), Jake Kiszka (Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals), Sam Kiszka (Bass, Keys and Backing vocals) and Danny Wagner (Drums, Backing Vocals). Three brothers and a family friend from a small town in Michigan, USA called Frankenmuth.
From the bands press release relating to the single it mentions, the love servants have for their teacher and their belief in his vision.
“Meeting the Master peers into an esoteric world heeded by the world of a wise teacher. Sung in the voice of a devout believer, and eventual group exclamation, the song details,” the band had explained.
Meeting the Master may not be the opening track to the album, as it actually finishes second to last on the track listing, but, the five-minute track most definitely opens you up to a new world and what to expect from the new album.
The song begins with an acoustic introduction to set the scene. It’s a different start to what we have heard on their previous albums. The build up with the acoustic guitar helps introduce Josh Kiszka’s voice. The mellow introduction of him singing, ‘what a day to meet the master’, makes you picture a servant talking to his teacher.
This is probably one of his best performances so far as he shows a different vocal range we haven’t heard before. Meeting the Master may have a slow build up for now, but it is worth it.
After the first chorus, we get introduced to Sam Kiszka on the keys, He plays a flute-type tune to go along with the guitar. Both instruments gel perfectly and really help paint the picture of ‘meeting the Master’.
Bassist/Keyboardist, Sam Kiszka, mentions his take on Meeting the Master and Starcatcher.
“When I imagine the world of Starcatcher, I think of the cosmos. It makes me ask a lot of questions, like, ‘where did we come from?’ or ‘what are we doing here?’”
“But, it’s also questions like, ‘what is this consciousness that we have, and where did it come from?’”
And Meeting the Master helps back this statement.
As we get introduced to the bridge, the song begins to pick up with the keys kicking into gear. We then enter the second pre chorus, we hear the drums of Danny Wagner, and Josh Kiszka, the voice we know and love from songs like Safari Song, My Way, Soon and When the Curtain Falls.
Jake Kiszka switches from acoustic guitar to electric switching up the pre-chorus and showing us the wow factor. Josh continues to wail over the guitar with, “ooh, hey!” giving us the feeling of being in the cosmos.
It then rips into a guitar solo in true Greta Van Fleet fashion, but it has a different take to the normal Jake Kiszka solos we have heard. It takes you out of this world as it pushes you side to side with the solo switching from left to right, it makes you keep complete focus on what is happening.
We then get a reference that Greta Van Fleet fans will get, with Josh Kiszka singing ‘ram, ram, ram’, referencing the track, ‘Trip the light Fantastic’ from The Battle at Garden’s Gate.
The song then leads us out to an impressive crescendo without going over the top. It really has the perfect ending to a song.
Guitarist Jake Kiszka explains the ending well, “we didn’t really have to force or be intense about writing, because everything that happened was very instinctual.”
The band have taken a leap forward with this album and single. Showing critics that they are here to stay and to show the world what they can do. If anything, Meeting the Master is only the opening to the world of Starcatcher and we’re going to be in for a wild ride when it officially comes out on July 21st.