First there was their definition of the noun “gaslighter.”
“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 posted on social media before posting a mere 15 seconds of Martie Maguire, Natalie Maines and Emily Strayer singing the highly-anticipated song in harmony on Tuesday (March 3).
They also changed their profile bio to: “Superstars, renegades, innovators, heroes, villains, and moms.” And they’ve switched their band website — perhaps only temporarily — from dixiechicks.com to dcx2020.com.
But first, let’s rewind to 2006.
The band’s last studio album Taking the Long Way was released 14 years ago. The album’s quintessential comeback song was “Not Ready to Make Nice,” and in 2007 it won the Dixie Chicks three Grammy Awards: record of the year, song of the year, and best country performance by a duo or group. When the album came out, Robison had explained why the trio brought in some help to pen the album’s 14 songs. “Martie, Nat and I tended to go back to the same country and bluegrass patterns, so we needed other writers to help us meld that with the new sounds,” she’d told me at the time. While we don’t have the full track list yet, it’s safe to assume that Maguire, Maines and Strayer have written most of the songs, with or without help.
What we do have now is “Gaslighter.” The Dixie Chicks wrote the song with Jack Antonoff, and it’s a classic-but-modern, done-me-wrong song: Gaslighter, denier, doing anything to get your ass farther. Gaslighter, big timer, repeating all of the mistakes of your father. We moved to California and followed your dreams. I believed in the promise you made to me. Hollywood welcomed you with open doors, no matter what they gave you you still wanted more.
The video was directed by Seanne Farmer. And the album of the same name will be released on May 1.
Since that last album, the band has been relatively quiet in terms of releasing music. (Between the three of them, the Dixie Chicks have nine young children, which would explain their hiatus from the recording studio.) But they have maintained their loyal fan base by touring enough to keep everyone’s interest at an all-time high. In 2006, there was their Accidents & Accusations World Tour. In 2013, there was the Long Time Gone Tour. And from 2016-2017, they hit the road for the DCX MMXVI World Tour. The new music released on March 4 will be followed by a new tour. Details on that coming soon.
The country trio has been on the top of the charts since their 1997 single “There’s Your Trouble” hit the No. 1 spot on the country charts and then won a Grammy in 1998 for it. Their debut album Wide Open Spaces was also named the best country album at that same ceremony.