Leon Bridges and Terrace Martin have joined forces for an emotional new single, titled “Sweeter”. Though the duo intended to release the song on a future album, the recent police killing of George Floyd inspired an early debut.

Related: Leon Bridges, John Mayer Collaborate On Dreamy New Single, “Inside Friend” [Listen]

Opening with a hard-hitting drum beat, Bridges’s vocals take center stage with the first verse: “Why do I fear with skin dark as night? / Can’t feel peace with those judging eyes / I thought we moved on from the darker days / Did the words of the King disappear in the air like a butterfly?” he contemplates, a sentiment all too prevalent given the ongoing fight against racial injustice and police brutality. Martin adds soulful harmonies on the song’s titular refrain, “Hoping for a life more sweeter,” a feeling shared by the millions subjected to racism and injustice throughout the United States and world at large.

Said Bridges of the song in a statement to Clash, “Growing up in Texas I have personally experienced racism, my friends have experienced racism. From adolescence, we are taught how to conduct ourselves when we encounter police to avoid the consequences of being racially profiled. I have been numb for too long, calloused when it came to the issues of police brutality.”

He continued, “The death of George Floyd was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. It was the first time I wept for a man I never met. I am George Floyd, my brothers are George Floyd, and my sisters are George Floyd. I cannot and will not be silent any longer. Just as Abel’s blood was crying out to God, George Floyd is crying out to me.”

Martin added his thoughts on the collaboration as well: “It is always an honor to share a platform with my dear brother Leon Bridges. This is meditation music; it is not music for the ears but rather music for the heart. I truly believe that eyes have been deceiving us for so long but the heart always tells the truth. The heart needs to be repaired. Black folk have been deceived so many years, the only thing that can turn it around is a heart full of love.”

Listen to the duo’s heart wrenching new single below.

Leon Bridges w/Terrace Martin – “Sweeter”

[Video: Leon Bridges]

It has been a busy year for Leon Bridges, who kicked off 2020 by releasing a collaborative EP with fellow Texans Khruangbin, titled Texas Sun. He then performed at the inaugural Lena Horne Prize Event honoring Solange before collaborating with John Mayer on a new single, “Inside Friend”. Though he was set to perform several times throughout the summer, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic forced the postponement of all live events. Head to his website for the latest tour information and check out Live For Live Music‘s concert cancellation tracker for daily updates on shows around the world.

[H/T Clash]