In a nutshell, the Dixie Chicks are back and better than ever. Earlier this March, the American country (some might even say a touch folk-y, or country-pop) band released their first song in 14 years. And it did not disappoint.
To be fair, I grew up blasting “Taking the Long Way” (2006) in the car, singing along to every word of “Not Ready to Make Nice” with my aunt and cousins by the ripe age of seven, so by association I think I will always be a fan of whatever they put out; kind of in the way I think I’d still attend a One Direction concert late into my life purely out of respect for their importance to shaping my pre-teen years.
However, in general, the Dixie Chicks have produced music that has carried through time and space to share stories of life with upbeat, emotional and angsty songs. If anything, “The Long Way Around,” “Easy Silence” and their rendition of “Landslide,” to name a few, only grow in meaning and importance as one ages.
That being said, I was pleasantly surprised by their newest single; I mean they have had 14 years to prepare. I wondered if their trademark sound would change? Would it be as emotional and intimate as their former tracks have been, or succumb to the sounds of country-pop today? The answer to all of these can be found in the first sentence of this article.
“Gaslighter” survives the Dixie Chicks' on-brand sound with beautiful harmonies and upbeat country sound, without coming off as trying too hard to recreate their previous hits. It’s the kind of song that tells a completely personal story while still being reachable to a wide audience. It’s also the kind of song that makes you want to get up and dance around the living room, which during these current, uncertain times, is especially appreciated and speaks for itself.
This comeback track has proved that the ability of the Dixie Chicks to write a fantastic song truly knows no bounds. So here’s to Emily Erwin, Martie Erwin and Natalie Maines, our chicks, the Dixie Chicks.
The Dixie Chicks are set to release their full album, “Gaslighter,” on May 1, 2020.