Photo by Zoe Kilavos

Nashville artist Troy Akers (aka Bandit Heart) has released a new song called "Us," which arrived Friday.

The new song is the latest in a string of new releases for Akers, and it's accompanied by four alternative versions of the song, including an early demo and an instrumental cut, which offers a message of encouragement in its lyrics.

"This song was originally from writing it for a friend going through some hard life things," says Akers, who explains the song is "simply about being alive. The pain that comes with it coupled with the beauty of everything around us. I wanted to put it out now in light of the recent tragedy in Nashville with the school shooting. It is not a statement, but I simply hope it helps someone see the beauty in this life that we have been gifted. The wonder that comes from simply seeing a sunset or laughing with someone you love being around."

Hear "Us" below.