It’s been 14 years since the Dixie Chicks released a studio album, but they are finally ready to release new music.
Lead singer Natalie Maines has been teasing a song called “Gaslighter” for the past few weeks over social media, and now the band revealed that it will drop this March 4. Whether this will also include the release of the full album they’ve been working on remains to be seen.
A teaser clip shared to the group’s official social media channels features the women singing the word “gaslighter,” accompanied by a written-out definition: “a psychological manipulator who seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or in members of a group, making them question their own memory, perception, or sanity.”
The Dixie Chicks were recently featured in Taylor Swift’s Netflix documentary Miss Americana, in which Swift explores the effect the group’s exile from the country music space had on her personally.
On March 10, 2003, while on stage performing at a London venue, Maines told the audience of then-President George W. Bush and the U.S. invasion of Iraq, “We don’t want this war, this violence, and we’re ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas.” The move sparked intense boycotts of their music from conservatives and supporters of Bush, growing to the point when the Dixie Chicks were blacklisted from radio stations and protests resulted in public burnings of their albums.
“Part of the fabric of being a country artists is, ‘Don’t force your politics on people. Let people live their lives.’ That is grilled into us,” Swift says in Miss Americana. “Throughout my whole career, label executives and publishers would just say, ‘Don’t be like the Dixie Chicks.’ And I loved the Dixie Chicks. But a nice girl doesn’t force their opinions on people, a nice girl smiles and waves and says ‘thank you,’ a nice girl doesn’t make people feel uncomfortable with her views.”
The Dixie Chicks have been recording again as of late, notably on Swift’s Lover album for the track “Soon You’ll Get Better.”
Perhaps to stay on theme with the title “Gaslighter,” Maines teased the track and an accompanying music video by posting teasers to Instagram and then deleting them and then posting them back online again. The lyrics can be heard over footage of a dancer contorting himself into various positions.
Maines sings, “Gaslighter, I’m your mirror/ standing right here until you can see how/ you broke me, yeah I’m broken/ still sorry and still no apology.”
In September 2019, Maines spoke about a fifth album for the Dixie Chicks on an episode of the Spiritualgasm podcast. She said it was inspired by her divorce from actor Adrian Pasdar and will feature work from Jack Antonoff, who also worked with Swift recently on Lover.
“I had a lot to say,” she said. “Songwriting is really hard for me, and I think for many years, I didn’t want to analyze my life or my relationship. I was just in it and dedicated and devoted, and if I had started writing songs about it… I don’t want to say I was in a ‘survival mode,’ but I was just not ready to open up like that.”
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