Fort Worth, Texas based soul singer Leon Bridges teamed up with Los Angeles based saxophonist and producer Terrace Martin to release a new song titled “Sweeter.” The song was originally supposed to be released later as part of a future album, but the duo decided to release it ahead of schedule in light of the current events taking place in America. The song is Bridges’ most recent since his collaboration with John Mayer titled “Inside Friend.”
While the song sounds sweet and tender, the story told is dark and grim, as the song is written from the perspective of a black man taking his last breath and feeling his spirit leave his body. While Bridges’ tender voice pairs perfectly with Martin’s delicate and smooth production style, the lyrics are gloomy and dark and show a grim side of American society that has unfortunately been on display during the past couple of weeks.
“Growing up in Texas I have personally experienced racism, my friends have experienced racism,” notes Bridges. “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. 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. So, I present to you Sweeter.”
“It is always an honor to share a platform with my dear brother Leon Bridges,” Martin states. “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.”
This is Martin’s second song that has been released since the tragic killing of George Floyd and the subsequent protests; the artist teamed up with fellow saxophonist Kamasi Washington, as well as rappers Denzel Curry, G Perico, and Daylyt to reelase “Pig Feet.” While “Pig Feet” also serves as a critique against police brutality and racism in America, it takes a much more aggressive and powerful approach that highly contrasts with “Sweeter.”