7 Best Greta Van Fleet Songs, According To Fans

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This post was contributed to by Associate Editor, Sophia Naughton.

Greta Van Fleet is an American rock band that hails from Michigan. Since their formation in 2012, they have released three studio albums and are considered by many to be shining stars of modern American rock music. After finding an initial boost in fame thanks to a cameo of their song “Highway Tune” in an episode of “Shameless,” this once-unknown band from Michigan entered the pop culture zeitgeist. For those listeners who are eager to find some modern rock that has been compared to the likes of greats like Led Zeppelin, you’ve come to the right place. Our list of the top seven best Greta Van Fleet songs is a collection of the band’s most legendary hits so far in their music career. Our list is based on the consensus picks from 10 existing expert reviews. Let us know your favorite Greta Van Fleet songs in the comments below if you are part of The Peaceful Army (their fanbase)!

7 Must-Listen Greta Van Fleet Songs, According to Fans

1. “Highway Tune” (2017)

“Highway Tune” is easily Greta Van Fleet’s biggest hit to date. This song has a clean, almost tinny sound as compared to harder rock like ‘90s grunge. According to Blues Rock Review, this song started it all. You know it by its signature eerie “ah ah” that begins the song, followed by a signature “oooohhh mama” from lead singer Josh Kiszka. This is one of their songs that really sounds like it could’ve come from Led Zeppelin back in the day. But, no, this is Greta through and through.

OldTimemusic even says the shattering guitar riffs if the background resemble the work of Jimmy Page. Let’s not forget that Josh is constantly compared to Robert Plant. I mean, not many people can sing like that. Reviewers do note that their sound is a bit more pop-driven than Zeppelin, but the similarities are definitely there.

This song has had its fair share of chart-topping numbers. According to Legit, it was at the top of Billboard Mainstream Rock and Active Rock stations in September 2017. The now-legendary music video showcasing the band’s young, raw talent has over 95 million views as well.

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2. “Black Smoke Rising” (2017)

Another song in their 2017 album “From the Fires,” “Black Smoke Rising” feels like rock from the early ‘70s. Crashing drums and rhythmic guitar accentuate singer Josh Kiszka’s snarling tenor vocals. Classic Rock History.com calls it “one of the greatest jams by Greta Van Fleet” and mentions that it was nominated for Best Rock Song at the Grammy’s in 2019.

Although the lyrics are fast-paced in this song, if you listen closely, you will notice it’s really about political corruption and war, according to Tone Start. “Greta Van Fleet explains that world leaders create methods to control the populous, but the populous must unite to rebel against politicians and defeat them. The message is incredibly reminiscent of Pink Floyd’s ‘Another Brick in the Wall’ despite its Led Zeppelin-esque sound,” they write.

This message is evoked through lyrics like “Many people are dividing/ And a world apart with just one heart/ Is bound to keel and fade away,” to describe the constant clashing of world leaders and the conflicting state of politics. But their call-to-action comes with “it’s a new age crisis/ But we will stand up in the cold.” Pretty powerful stuff.

3. “Safari Song” (2017)

If “Highway Tune” attracted curious listeners, then “Safari Song” is the track that might have hooked them into fandom. With the initial thrumming energy of the introductory guitar riff and more of Josh’s classic commanding scream, you know what song is about to play. Medium describes it as having “crunchy guitar, fuzzy bass, echoing drums, and powerful vocals.”

For musicians, Devoted To Vinyl says it is as fun to play as it is to listen to. They’ve tapped into an electric musical talent that only comes once every century or so.

If you aren’t a fan already, give this song a listen. Instrumentful says, “From start to finish, ‘Safari Song’ leaves you feeling exhilarated and craving for more of Greta Van Fleet’s music.”

The best part to sing out to live out your rock star dreams is the line “Do you remember what I said when I got down on my knees?” Josh’s powerful vocals paired with the silent gaps in guitar to let his voice ring out is unlike any other song. This is also the song where drummer Danny Wagner famously plays out an endless drum solo at live shows.

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4. “When the Curtain Falls” (2018)

“When The Curtain Falls” is a song that makes the case that fame brings trouble. Released in 2018, this track is another showcase of the heavy influence Zepplin has on this band. This is the first single of their album named for their fans “Anthem of the Peaceful Army,” and certainly deserves a spot on this list.

This is one of their more Blues-forward tracks. The guitar riffs certainly take center stage here. Plus, Josh’s silvery, yet wailing scream never hurts (OldTimemusic).

You really get a peak into what it is like to be enveloped in the chaos and glamour of fame, and then later to experience the crash into regular life. They compare Hollywood to hell. On the other hand, life outside of fame is described as walking “the hollow walls.”

5. “Edge of Darkness” (2017)

“Edge of Darkness” is a track that captures what rock once was and what it is again with Greta Van Fleet: a lyrical call to unite in the name of peace. Political themes have always been a part of the greatest rock, and this song calls back to that era of resistance and activism. OldTimemusic loves the bass and drums that create the perfect backdrop to the fiery passion that is Josh Kiszka and the stinging guitar riffs of his brother, Jake.

What is the meaning behind this song? Legit says that the band once said it is about the bravery behind their compassion for each other. This is certainly one of their tracks that will live on in history.

According to Tone Start, “Despite its tough outward appearance, this 2017 track describes a global community. Greta Van Fleet explains the beauty of giving love and empathizing with your fellow brothers and sisters.”

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6. “Age of Man” (2018)

“Age of Man” is a classically styled power ballad. This slower track provides a much-needed breather in their playlist, it steps away from frantic energy and leans into powerful emotion. The beginning is calming and has that air of mystic wonder that so often frequents within their songs. Chaos Spin claims, “Speaking to the very heart of human ingenuity, this song starts by talking about the light in the darkness… It isn’t hard to hear why this band was nominated for a Grammy when you listen to the deep and thoughtful lyrics.”

Instrumentful describes the guitar riffs as explosive, the instrumentation as intricate, and, of coarse, no lack of stellar vocals. Each and every member really compliments each other. While you may think Josh’s voice is so unique (it definitely is), the band wouldn’t be the same without every member.

Classic Rock History.com compares this song’s storytelling to “Immigrant Song” by Led Zeppelin. What do you think? Share your opinion with us in the comments.

7. “Lover, Leaver” (2018)

“Lover, Leaver” is a medium-tempo song that speaks of heartbreak. The dirty bassline and heavy drums drive this track. If this song played on a Led Zeppelin album, I would not think twice. It totally sounds like something straight from Robert Plant. Instrumentful describes this track as mesmerizing and dynamically Bluesy. Plus, the eerie chatter in the middle of the song totally resembles something straight out of Pink Floyd or Zeppelin.

OldTimemusic says to look out for Jake Kiszka’s “screaming licks” on the guitar in his solo in the middle of the song. Aside from that, there are so many elements of this song to take in. It is a deeply complex track that you can belt your heart out to.

According to Chaos Spin, “Love and the devil are subjects that come up in a lot of rock music. Fans have come to almost expect it… ‘Lover, Leaver’ is all about a demonic lover. The evil woman trope is one many hard rock bands are all too familiar with… What isn’t so average about this song is how much it slaps.”

Sources used to create our list:

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