Ring the alarm and warm up the fiddle section, the Dixie Chicks’ newest song is finally here. “Gaslighter” — which the band teased on social media in February with a dictionary description of the word, a noun meaning psychological manipulator who seeks to sow seeds of doubt, and a super-short audio clip of the trio singing in classic three-part harmony — is apropos of, well, everything. The track is the leadoff single from a forthcoming album, the group’s first since 2006. (In case you’ve forgotten, the world of country music effectively tried to feed poisoned black-eyed peas and roll a tarp around — read: kill — the group after lead singer Natalie Maines told a 2003 audience at a show in London they were “ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas.”)
“I had a lot to say,” Maines said on the Spiritualgasm podcast last month, talking about writing the new album and her divorce from actor Adrian Pasdar. “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.” The group worked with producer Jack Antonoff on the album, also titled Gaslighter and out May 1. (He, along with Taylor Swift, produced “Soon You’ll Get Better,” the Lover track that features the Dixie Chicks.) The video, which quite literally flashes the word LIAR across the screen, seems like one hell of a way to say it.