The Dixie Chicks have returned with their first new music in 14 years, dropping the bold “Gaslighter” today (March 4).
Standing as a searing commentary on society’s long history of treating women as second class citizens — and dovetailing smoothly into the ongoing Me Too/Times Up movement — the tough-talking track marks the first taste of the iconic trio’s upcoming comeback album, which will reportedly also be titled Gaslighter. The band’s classic three-part harmony and a bright, nostalgic ’90s sound dominate the mix, with front woman Natalie Maines’ voice proving to be just as evocative as ever.
Writing on social media recently, Maines explained the track was inspired by witnessing former Hollywood mogul and convicted sexual predator Harvey Weinstein “berate” the two female directors of the group’s documentary Shut Up and Sing in 2005. “I sat there in stunned silence,” she wrote. “It’s something I’ll always regret and will never repeat.”
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In 2005 I witnessed Harvey Weinstein aggressively berate the two female directors of our documentary Shut Up And Sing. I sat there in stunned silence. It’s something I’ll always regret and will never repeat. This video is the result of @ceciliapeck going home after that meeting and telling her husband about it. The conversation inspired their 5yr old daughter to say this. @ondinepeck @ceciliapeck
“Gaslighter, denier / Doin’ anything to get your ass farther / Gaslight, big timer / Repeating all of the mistakes of your father / Gaslighter, you broke me / You’re sorry, but where’s my apology? / Gaslighter, you liar,” goes the chorus.
Meanwhile, the trio opened up further about their new song, working with pop producer Jack Antanoff and more on Apple Music’s New Music Daily with Zane Lowe.
“It was the first song we wrote with Jack Antonoff,” Emily Robison says of “Gaslighter.” “At the time, we thought we thought we were gonna write with a bunch of different people and get different producers, and we wrote with him and we’re like, ‘He needs to produce it and this needs to be the sound for this album,’ ’cause … he blew us away.”
Saying a big part of the reason they took a recording hiatus was to be with their kids, the women now feel ready to return. In fact, they jokingly figure their families might actually benefit from some time apart.
“Our nine kids collectively are why we paused for so long,” says Martie McGuire, laughing as she continues. “I’m finding out that teenagers are a lot harder than babies.”
“Babies pull you off the road, teenagers push you back on,” says Maines to another round of chuckles. The trio also hint about a track titled “Julianna Calm Down” (named for Robison’s daughter), and how getting back onstage for a reunion tour rekindled their old musical magic. “I think the tour in 2016 really kind of solidified our want to do this again,” Robison says.
Gaslighter will mark the follow up to The Dixie Chicks’ 2006 LP, Taking the Long Way. There’s no word on the new album’s release date yet.