Arielle Tschinkel
March 05, 2020 10:23 am

At long last, the Dixie Chicks have released their first song in nearly 14 years, and it’s a fierce, empowering anthem that will resonate with anyone who has ever felt gaslighted by someone in their lives.

The Dixie Chicks’s return comes after a long hiatus. The group, made up of Martie Erwin Maguire, Emily Erwin Robison, and lead singer Natalie Maines, went on tour back in 2016. But “Gaslighter” is their first new single since 2006, and we’ve sorely missed their voices. The song feels especially important right now, as the term “gaslighting” has re-entered our cultural consciousness in recent years, thanks both to the tumultuous political climate and the #MeToo movement.

Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse (usually in relationships, but it can also come at the hands of powerful politicians) in which a person is manipulated into believing that their experiences aren’t valid.

This ultimately leads them to question their own self-worth and even their sanity.

The Dixie Chicks’s “Gaslighter” touches on that form of psychological abuse, and while it certainly applies to many of the things happening in our cultural and political climate right now, it also seems deeply personal for band member Natalie Maines. Last year, she revealed, per Rolling Stone, that writing for the group’s new album, she “had a lot to say” as she was going through a divorce from actor Adrian Pasdar.

In an interview on the “Spiritualgasm” podcast last September, Maines shared, “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.”

Of the new album, also called Gaslighter, she said, “Our last album was the most personal and autobiographical we’ve ever been, and then this one is 10 times that.”

Gaslighter is slated for release on May 1st, and until then, we’ll just keep the title track on repeat. We’re so happy to have you back, ladies!

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