After a 14-year hiatus, the Dixie Chicks are officially ready to release new music.
Lead singer Natalie Maines has been teasing the song “Gaslighter” for the past few weeks on her social media accounts, and Friday an imminent release date was announced.
A tweet from the Dixie Chicks’ official account included a 10-second clip featuring the women singing the word “gaslighter,” accompanied by a definition of the word: “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 post also includes the date “3.4.2020.”
There’s no word yet if the release date only concerns the new single, or if the Dixie Chicks’ new album as a whole will be released, but the “Gaslighter” single in particular has been hyped by the band themselves.
Last week, Maines shared a video on her Instagram featuring a dancer bone breaking during the shoot of the “Gaslighter” music video, which was promptly deleted, only to resurface on the singer’s page the next day. Perhaps the stunt was a clever riff on what it feels like to be gaslit, or maybe the Dixie Chicks really can’t be tamed, let alone adhere to what their PR tells them to do.
Just kidding! #gaslighter #dcx2020 #soon
A post shared by @ 1nataliemaines; on
Much of the reason why the Dixie Chicks underwent such a long hiatus stemmed from a mass boycott of the band by the country music scene after they publicly denounced then-President George W. Bush and the U.S. invasion of Iraq during a London performance on March 10, 2003. “We don’t want this war, this violence, and we’re ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas,” they said onstage.
When word got back to the U.S., the Dixie Chicks were shunned by conservatives and Bush supporters, who went as far as staging public burnings of their albums. Taking the Long Way, their 2006 album, is the band’s most current studio release.
Taylor Swift even explored the complicated legacy of the Dixie Chicks in the Netflix documentary Miss Americana, saying: “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 the documentary. “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 haven’t been completely absent from the music scene since the release of their 2006 album, though. They had a huge comeback tour in 2016-17, they were featured on Taylor Swift’s album Lover on the ballad “Soon You’ll Get Better,” and they performed at Jack Antonoff’s Ally Coalition benefit concert in New York this past December.
Antonoff, who produced Swift’s album Lover, is reportedly the producer of Gaslighter, as well. On an appearance on the podcast Spiritualgasm in September, Maines revealed that much of the forthcoming album was drawn from her divorce from actor Adrian Pasdar.
“I had a lot to say,” Maines said on the podcast. “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.”
Listen to a 2000 Dixie Chicks performance from the Paste archives below.