This week we’re listening to Gaslighter by The Chicks, their first studio album in 14 years. With special commentary from our very own Gillian Stanwick, TLR Festival Programmer, and of course, as always, Baylen Leonard. Listen along with us!
“Oomph! And we’re off, they start this record the way they intend to go on. Somebody’s had enough and they aren’t taking it anymore and I love it!” – Baylen
“The album starts off strong and punchy – very high energy and emotionally charged. It gives us a good glimpse into the personal battle that lead vocalist Natalie Maines has been going through for the past couple of years.” – Gillian
This was also the first video to be released from the album, uploaded online four months ago:
“Such a catchy hook and sounds great turned up loud! Does what The Chicks have done so well so many times, taking something quite emotionally charged and making it an absolute bop.” – Baylen
“This sounds like an incredibly personal song experiencing a lot of betrayal and heartbreak. You can hear the emotion and sadness behind her voice in this one. Teddy Geiger is also credited as a writer and producer on this track.” – Gillian
Check out the video for Sleep at Night by The Chicks, which was shot in the Mojave Desert here:
Artist Fact: The Chicks collaborated with Taylor Swift on “Soon You’ll Get Better,” a track from Swift’s seventh studio album, Lover.
“I like that the sound of this song is a little quirky – it matches the tone of the lyrics; I feel like after the first two songs it’s saying, I may not be perfect but I’m ready to get back on the saddle!” – Gillian
Album Fact: Gaslighter was released on Columbia Records on July 17th 2020.
“The heartache and pain really come out in this song. It’s beautifully arranged and you can hear the melancholy in the instruments and Maines’ voice as she questions her relationship vs everyone else’s with presumably her ex-husband.” – Gillian
Album Fact: The Chicks also recently announced “For Her Alliance,” a collection of female visual artists who collaborated with the band to create visualizers for select tracks off the album.
View on their YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLL1pDUxPFMpacvYholv-i7q2LWl-G50o5
“This is the pick up song we could all use when we’re feeling stuck. It’s an empathetic pep talk you give yourself in the mirror before you start the day; especially in the bridge when you get to the repeated “stand up, show love for her” mantra.” – Gillian
Artist Fact: The Chicks are the biggest-selling U.S. female band of all time and have sold more than 30.5 million albums!
“The song starts off with a chanting “march to your own drum” followed by “im an army of one”. Two bold phrases to remind yourself that you are strong and independent.” – Gillian
“An anthem for our times, a call to arms, a rallying cry! Total empowerment wrapped in a song. A conservative estimate would be around 30 times that I’ve listened to this already. The video for this is amazing, it gives it a whole other level of importance.” – Baylen
Watch that video here:
“We’re half way through this album and we’re going through all the different emotions and stages of a break up. Love the empowerment and fierceness of the chorus.” – Gillian
“The title of this song had me assume it was going to be a sweet love song, but it is very much the opposite. Essentially reflecting on the day you meet someone (at a friend’s wedding in this case) and fast forwarding to how much better off you are now without them.” – Gillian
“The bridge helps reset the song: im back here at my best friend’s wedding, she’s married again” tying in some optimism that maybe it’s a new chance to meet someone new.” – Gillian
“This song is PUNCHY. This is the 2020 version of “Goodbye Earl”. There’s not a lot of reading between the lines on what this song is about. Considering how revealing the lyrics are, it’s got quite a cheeky, karma seasoned tone to it.” – Gillian
“Uh OHHHH! Someone is totally BUSTED! You messed with the wrong chick buddy!” – Baylen
“We hope it makes you feel empowered, smile, and strut the f*** around like you’ve got nothing to lose. We will strut through this time together.” – The Chicks
“I feel like this is a letter to all the women who have been hurt from an ex-lover. A reminder that even on your toughest days, you can get through. This song was written by the lead singer Natalie Maines, along with Jack Antonoff and Julia Michaels!” – Gillian
“Like a gentle hand on a crying shoulder. From one friend to another, understanding but firm. Yes feel the pain but know you are coming out of the other side of this and remember it wasn’t all roses, so you’re already better off.” – Baylen
Artist Fact: The Chicks have won 13 GRAMMY Awards, six Billboard Music Awards, four American Music Awards, and numerous Country Music Association Awards
“Maines’ voice is haunting on this beautifully composed track. Presumably dedicated to her children as the divorce between their parents begins, it outlines the comfort and strength of their mother to weather the storm they’re heading into.” – Gillian
“As we approach the end of the album, we’ve gone through the waves of emotions and we’re ending on the feelings of acceptance. The song doesn’t sound angry, it sounds like defeat and coming to terms with the situation, ending with “I hope she’s something good”” – Gillian
“Like the seven stages of grief, we get to acceptance at the end. The anger and pain is easing and now it’s time to move on and heal. Set me free is as much a request as it is a mission statement.” – Baylen
“The album’s ending on a sad note, with this song directed straight at her ex-husband. She’s asking him to please set her free, mentally and legally (as they had a lot of legal disputes during their divorce). Overall a very powerful and emotional album!” -Gillian