Greta Van Fleet announced an April 16 release date for their eagerly anticipated sophomore album, The Battle At Garden’s Gate, on Friday (Dec. 4) and released their epic new single, “Age of Machine.” The nearly seven-minute-long atmospheric, slow-burn rocker with a sci-fi vibe continues the family band’s epic quest to find inner meaning in the universe with the opening lines, “Perfect child/ Plugged in since the womb/ Prophet of the dune/ In this electric tomb/ Man has made/ An omnipresent force/ Heading on a course/ For interstellar shores.”
The Grammy-winning group’s follow-up to their 2018 full-length debut, Anthem of the Peaceful Army, was written mostly on the road and in their new hometown of Nashville by vocalist Josh Kiszka, guitarist Jake Kiszka, bassist Sam Kiszka, and drummer Danny Wagner, according to a release announcing the collection, which also features previously released free spirited folk rock rager “My Way, Soon.”
After playing gigs all over the world for the past three years and diving deep into Music City’s storied history, the band emerged with a collection that presents the “melding of all these experiences [which] opened their eyes to amazing new worlds of culture, history, philosophy and spirituality – and ushered in an entirely new way of looking at life and the approach to their music,” according to the statement.
“It’s very dynamic, lyrically speaking. And that’s the human experience. It’s much more than pain or fear; it’s also beauty,” said singer Josh Kiszka, 24, of the album that the statement reveals delves into the “influence of technology on modern life; the role conflict plays in the global sphere; the deceptive fulfillment of tangible riches; and philosophical questions about life, love and power. Crucially, Kiszka adds, “People need people, and love is important.”
The album was recorded in Los Angeles with Greg Kurstin (Foo Fighters, Paul McCartney), with drummer Wagner explaining, “We realized that while growing up, we had been shielded by many things, and we were unaware of a lot of things. And then we were thrown out into this huge world, and it was a bit of a culture shock at first. But as we started to travel a lot, meet new and different people and experience different cultures, our definition of ‘normal’ changed.”
According to Rolling Stone, the album will also feature the existential “Trip the Light Fantastic,”the burning Earth anthem “Tears of Rain,” as well as “The Weight of Dreams” and “The Heat Above.” Singer Kiska told the mag that, “There are definitely Biblical references. Not just in the title, but throughout the entire album…This is a world with the ancient civilizations in it, just like our own parallel universe, really. It’s an analogy. Each song is a theme. A magnification of different cultures and civilizations inside of this world searching for some kind of salvation or enlightenment.”
Listen to “Age of Machine” below.