After the killing of George Floyd and the protests for racial justice that followed, the Dixie Chicks finally unloaded their old name because of its unwelcome associations with the Old South. After rebranding as the Chicks, the group released “Gaslighter,” its first new album in 14 years.
“Gaslighter” is a heavily personal album, largely a song cycle about divorce and family through the lens of Natalie Maines’s recent life changes. It is also a bit of a sonic experiment, filtering country DNA through the kind of dreamy personal pop that’s become common.
On this week’s Popcast, a conversation about the legacy of the Chicks; whether the group has returned at an opportune moment, now that the generation of musicians that it influenced are among the most influential in pop; and imagining how country music might be different had it not pushed the Chicks away.
Jewly Hight, who writes about country music for NPR and others
Carl Wilson, music critic at Slate