Leon Bridges has collaborated with Los Angeles hip-hop and jazz artist Terrace Martin on his latest track, “Sweeter.”
Released in the midst of protests around the country calling for an end to systemic racism, the song is a thoughtful meditation on what it’s like to live under cyclical oppression and prejudice from the state. “Hoping for a life more sweeter/Instead I’m just a story repeating/Why do I fear with skin dark as night?/Can’t feel peace with those judging eyes,” Bridges sings over a programmed drum beat and Martin’s light saxophone accents.
He later makes reference to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., asking why we seem to be repeating the same fight that older generations of black activists were a part of: “I thought we moved on from the darker days/Did the words of the King disappear in the air/Like a butterfly?”
This is Bridges’ first new music release since April when he teamed up with John Mayer for the quarantine-appropriate song “Inside Friend.” Bridges and Mayer had recorded and shelved the song in 2019 but decided to release it during the ongoing pandemic. The duo later released an indoor music video for the track.