"Warrior" isn't the first song the Zac Brown Band has shared to honor the military, but it is the first release that zeroes in so specifically on the daunting challenges that those at war must face.

"Before we wrote the song 'Warrior,' I interviewed my friend Alexander R. Oliver, [who] has over 21 years of dedication to our country in Special Ops," Brown explained in a press release. "He spends his time now helping other veterans with things that only they can relate to. He is a true warrior and a wordsmith. So I took some of his story and words, and tried to channel a glimpse of what it means to be a modern day warrior."

The band created the song with help from a speech from Oliver on what it means to be a warrior, and especially the concept that once a warrior, a person will, to some degree, always remain one for the rest of his or her life. Warriors are selfless, prioritizing the common good over their own well-being. However, once their battle has come to an end, the pain can live on -- and even, for some, become all-consuming.

"The cause suppresses the pain and makes it bearable no matter how many injuries are absorbed," Oliver explains. "But when our contribution to the cause comes to an end the pain loses its suppressor and for some that pain is unbearable."

Behind the track's timeless message, the group injects plenty of their flair for the genre-defiant. A lively, electronic-tinged beat underpins the track, as Brown's soaring vocals look unflinchingly into every new adventure that emerges along life's journey. "Warrior" comes off of the ZBB's upcoming new studio album, The Owl, which is due for release on Sept. 20, 2019.

"We're all born in hospitals from different states / To moms and dads who work and pray / That we'll be saved, amazing grace / The chosen few get shipped away," Brown says in a spoken-word breakdown before the song's last chorus. "For one more mile and one more day / To harvest souls and bear the weight / And reap the tax that must be paid...."

For those who prefer ZBB's softer, less danceable side, fear not: The band hasn't abandoned their love of piano ballads on the new project. The recently shared "Leaving Love Behind" sees ZBB as earnest, narratively compelling and pared down as ever.

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