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The Nashville trio hasn't released an album since 2006

By Jeff Nelson
March 04, 2020 02:35 PM
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The Dixie Chicks are back!

On Wednesday the beloved country band returned with "Gaslighter," their first new single in 13 years.

The rollicking track — the lead single off their forthcoming album of the same name, due out May 1 — highlights the Nashville trio’s trademark sass and harmonies.

Apple Music’s Zane Lowe caught up with Martie Maguire, Natalie Maines and Emily Strayer about the song and their triumphant return.

“Well the kids — our nine kids, collectively — are why we paused for so long. And I’m finding out that teenagers are a lot harder than babies, not any easier,” Maguire, 50, said on Beats 1 Radio’s New Music Daily show.

“Babies pull you off the road, teenagers push you back on,” Maines, 45, then quipped of their on-off touring schedule.

Indeed, after releasing their acclaimed album Taking the Long Way in 2006, the Dixie Chicks took a long respite from music to focus on motherhood. Maguire is mom to daughter Harper, 11, and 15-year-old twins Eva and Katie; Maines has two sons, Jackson, 18, and Beckett, 15; and Strayer has son Gus, 17, and 14-year-old twins Julianna and Henry.

In recent years, the Dixie Chicks have slowly returned to the spotlight. In 2016, they teamed up with Beyoncé on a "Daddy Lessons" remix and hit the road for their DCX MMXVI/MMXVII World Tour. And last year, they teamed up with Taylor Swift for the heartbreaking ballad "Soon You'll Get Better," which appeared on the pop star’s smash album Lover.

Now, their kids are fans of the Dixie Chicks, too.

“Yeah, you know, my boys are actually really supportive and really excited for the music and they are fans — they’re not too cool to like their mom’s job,” Maines said.

dixie chicks
Dixie Chicks
| Credit: Philippa Price

Now the country legends, who remain the best-selling female group ever in the U.S., are preparing to release their eighth studio album, which they collaborated on with mega-producer Jack Antonoff.

After working with Antonoff on “Gaslighter,” they found the sound for their new record, which they worked on for two years.

“It was the first song we wrote with Jack Antonoff,” Strayer said. “At the time we thought we thought we were gonna write with a bunch of different people and get different producers and we wrote with him and we’re like, ‘He needs to produce it, and this needs to be the sound for this album,’ ’cause it was just, he blew us away, and it was such a fun song to start with.”

Now the Music City stars are ready for their new era, with the support of all their children.

“I definitely played it for my kids, and we actually have a song called ‘Julianna Calm Down,’ and that’s my daughter’s name, and she’s just, she was a little mortified at the beginning,” Strayer said. “But now every time her brother, she gets all worked up, her brothers are like, ‘Julianna, calm down.’ So she’s a little mortified about that, but it’s a good start to the song.”