The Killers have posted a new, stripped-down rendition of their 2019 protest song “Land of the Free” to address the death of George Floyd.
“How many killings must one man watch in his home?” Brandon Flowers sings before spelling out the exact length of time that former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kept his knee on Floyd’s neck. “Eight measured minutes and 46 seconds, another boy in the bag/Another stain on the flag.”
The original version of the song came out in January 2019. It spoke out against gun violence and President Trump’s proposed border wall. In a Facebook post, Flowers said the lyrics date back to the aftermath of the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting. “As a father I’ll never fully comprehend what that community and those parents went through,” he wrote. “But my church upbringing taught me to mourn with those that mourn and I did it the best way that I knew how. I cried for those kids and teachers. I got on my knees and I prayed for those families.”
The Killers’ new LP Imploding The Mirage was originally slated to come out in May, but the COVID-19 pandemic changed their plans. Three singles have come out (“Caution,” “Fire in Bone” and “My Own Soul’s Warning”) and the band has promoted them on numerous TV shows, but the LP has no official release date. It’s their first album to feature no contributions from original guitarist Dave Keuning, although it guest stars Lindsey Buckingham, k.d. Lang and Weyes Blood.
“A lot of moments [making this album] reminded me of making our first album, where you just know that it’s going to connect because of the way it makes you feel,” Flowers told Rolling Stone earlier this year. “I felt like that 20-year-old kid almost inventing something again.”