Everything We Know About the Chicks’ New Album, ‘Gaslighter’
It's been over a decade since the newly renamed Chicks released new music, but -- finally -- a new album really, truly is coming. The country trio couldn't help but tease fans with details for a while before they officially announced the project, though.
The hints started in June of 2018, in fact, when Chicks lead singer Natalie Maines began teasing the possibility of new music on social media. But while she and bandmates Martie Maguire and Emily Strayer continued to suggest that they might have plans for a new project, they didn't confirm any concrete plans until a year later, when the trio officially announced their new album's existence in an Instagram video.
Details about the Chicks' forthcoming project have filled in since then, and at long last, the album is due very soon. Read on to learn everything we know thus far.
During the Sept. 19 episode of the Spiritualgasm podcast, Maines revealed that the Chicks' new album will be called Gaslighter. The album takes its title from a song on the project, for which the Chicks filmed a music video and which they released on March 4. Maines first shared a snipped of the clip and the song itself in an Instagram post on Feb. 16.
The Release Date
Gaslighter was originally due out on May 1 -- the Chicks announced the news on March 4, when they dropped their single -- but on April 21, a little over one week before its arrival, the country trio announced the postponement of the album's release date. Now, it's set for release on July 17.
In June of 2019, an Instagram video showed the trio alongside producer and musician Jack Antonoff, saying that the album will be released "someday." The video was captioned with the hashtag #dcx2019, perhaps implying that the record was originally scheduled for release at some point in 2019; however, during the September Spiritualgasm podcast episode, Maines shared that Gaslighter would arrive in 2020.
The Chicks first started teasing a new album in 2018, the same year that their mainstream country studio debut, Wide Open Spaces, turned 20 years old.
The new project will be the trio's first release since Taking the Long Way in 2006. Fifteen years ago, their career largely came to a halt after Maines spoke out against then-U.S. president George W. Bush and the country's impending invasion of Iraq during a show in London, England.
The Record Label
The Chicks are releasing Gaslighter with Sony, in order to fulfill the seven-album deal they signed at the start of their career. Once it's released, the trio will be free either to sign another deal or proceed as an independent act.
Jack Antonoff's appearance in the Instagram video announcing the album suggested that he would be producing the project, a fact that the Chicks have since confirmed. In 2018, Maines also shared pictures, seemingly from in the recording studio, of Antonoff playing fiddle.
The Album Cover
The Gaslighter album cover is bold and bright. Three Irish dancers stand side by side on the cover, their image covered with the Chicks' name and the album's title in neon yellow and pink, respectively. (An updated version of the cover does, indeed, reflect the trio's new name.)
The Chicks dropped their new album's first single, "Gaslighter," on March 4.
During her Spiritualgasm episode, Maines shared that the Chicks had intended for their next album to be something simple, such as a covers album, simply to fulfill their deal with Sony. However, her divorce from her husband, actor Adrian Pasdar, inspired her to start songwriting again.
"When I started getting a divorce, I had a lot to say, so that kind of sparked me being ready [to make new music]," says Maines. "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 ... I just was not ready to open up like that."
During the podcast, host Sterling Jones specifically mentions a song called "Go It Alone" as his favorite track on the new project, and calls the title track "old-fashioned Dixie Chick fun." Maines' bandmate, Martie Maguire, whom Maines called during the podcast, says she's been listening to the record's final mixes, and that its songs continue to make her cry.
"Our last album was the most personal and autobiographical we'd ever been," Maines says, "and then this one is, like, 10 times that."
A final tracklist for Gaslighter shows 12 tracks on the project, not including the aforementioned "Go It Alone."
The Chicks, Gaslighter Tracklist:
1. "Gaslighter" (Natalie Maines, Emily Strayer, Martie Maguire, Jack Antonoff)
2. "Sleep at Night" (Maines, Strayer, Maguire, Teddy Geiger, Justin Tranter)
3. "Texas Man" (Maines, Strayer, Maguire, Antonoff, Julia Michaels, Tranter)
4. "Everybody Loves You" (Charlotte Lawrence, Gene Penner, Michael Spargur)
5. "For Her" (Maines, Strayer, Maguire, Ariel Rechtshaid, Sarah Aarons)
6. "March March" (Maines, Strayer, Maguire, Antonoff, Dan Wilson, Ian Kirkpatrick, Ross Golan)
7. "My Best Friend's Weddings" (Maines, Strayer, Maguire, Antonoff, Tranter)
8. "Tights on My Boat" (Maines, Strayer, Maguire, Antonoff, Michaels)
9. "Julianna Calm Down" (Maines, Antonoff, Michaels)
10. "Young Man" (Maines, Strayer, Maguire, Antonoff, Annie Clark, Tranter)
11. "Hope It's Something Good" (Maines, Strayer, Maguire, Antonoff)
12. "Set Me Free" (Maines, Strayer, Maguire, Antonoff, Ben Abraham)
During her Spiritualgasm episode, Maines shared that she had recently received proposed routing details for a new arena tour. She provided no other information about how many shows the tour would include, when it would begin or where they'd perform, however. The Chicks did not officially announce any touring plans before the COVID-19 pandemic forced the concert industry into hibernation for the time being.
The Chicks haven't been on the road since 2017. The year before, the group embarked on their DCX MMXVI World Tour, their first trek to include North American dates in a decade. Previously, the group had stated that they weren't sure they'd be welcomed in the U.S. again, due to the backlash that followed Maines' comments against President Bush and the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
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