In our Track by Track feature, artists guide listeners through each track on their latest release. Here, Greta Van Fleet pull back the curtain on the band’s new album, The Battle at Garden’s Gate.
Greta Van Fleet experienced a meteoric rise after breaking out in 2017 with their single “Highway Tune” and two EPs, followed by their 2018 debut full-length album, Anthem of the Peaceful Army.
The young Michigan rockers have now released their highly anticipated sophomore LP, The Battle at Garden’s Gate, providing Consequence of Sound with an exclusive track-by-track breakdown.
The album finds Greta Van Fleet expanding beyond the hard-rock template of their earlier works — and the frequent Led Zeppelin comparisons that came with it. Elements of prog rock and glam make for a more mature, engaging listen, with an eclectic production style giving the whole package a cinematic gloss.
The song titles and lyrics remain vague and slightly mysterious. Like a classic ’70s rock LP, the conceptual opus lies beneath the surface, only to be discovered upon multiple listens.
In the track-by-track rundown of The Battle at Garden’s Gate, the band offers details into the meaning of the album’s 12 songs, which focus on themes of hope and optimism.
Stream the entire album and read the band’s track-by-track breakdown below. Our review of the album can be found here.
There is no chance for the misinterpretation of “ascending to the stars as one.” Though it starts the album, the narrative of The Battle at Garden’s Gate would conclude with “Heat Above”. The album is mostly comprised of the challenges that humanity faces, always with an undertone of hope. But “Heat Above” is the idea of human utopia.
“My Way, Soon”:
“My Way, Soon” is a song of freedom. It is a reminder that we all have independent thought and the ability to follow our muse, whenever and however. This is the only track on the album that is not part of the overlying narrative… or maybe it is.
“Broken Bells” is about losing our primal innocence as we face the world. When we are brought in to this life, the soul is perfect. But when faced with the tribulations of our man-made society, the self becomes damaged working within the confines of such.
“Built by Nations”:
When boys go to war. A mutiny that chronicles a unit of bewildered, young renegade soldiers, as they march into the mouth of hell. “Built by Nations” delves into challenging themes such as military moguls, the manufacturing of killing machines, and the spirit of a warrior.
“Age of Machine”:
As “Heat Above” is the story of perfect man (the world inside of The Garden’s Gate), “Age of Machine” is about all that lies outside. We explore the archetypes of greed, industry, the industry of war, and 21st century hypnosis. All in all, we need some healing; unplug from the source.
“Tears of Rain”:
“Tears of Rain” is the communication between our souls and a higher power. It is about a primal people ravaged from a drought of hope. Our inspiration for the outro came from our love of soul music.
Sometimes the most rudimentary inspiration sparks an energy. This song came from two fundamental chords played in repetition. From there, this song evolved. It’s taken on many forms in the studio until we cut half of it to add an important introduction.
“Light My Love”:
“Light My Love” is about the intricacies of passion. It was the first track we recorded to test our compatibility with producer, Greg Kurstin. From there we knew that we would be making the recording with him.
Caravel is a testament to the exploratory nature of man and the quest of curiosity. It seems we will stop at nothing to know everything. It was one of the final two tracks added to the album in the midst of the pandemic.
“The Barbarians” was the final addition to the album. It is about the death of innocence. Youth spoiled by the industry of war.
“Trip the Light Fantastic”:
“Trip the Light Fantastic” is about spiritualism on the highest level. It is a reminder that we are not bound to our earthly beings. Cat Stevens was a subconscious influence on this track.
“The Weight of Dreams”:
“The Weight of Dreams” takes on the story of greed. It’s metaphorical circumstance is that of the California gold rush of the mid 19th century. It is about man’s unquenchable thirst for power. The outro of the song is the conclusion of the album, which we have played live for a long time under the moniker “Black Flag Exposition.” From there, we took the concept and grew it into a full thought.
Thanks to Greta Van Fleet for their thoughtful remarks regarding each track. You can pick up a copy of The Battle at Garden’s Gate via the band’s merch store or Amazon, and see our recent video interview with singer Josh Kiszka and bassist Sam Kiszka below.