It’s funny, you hear every right-wing pundit or sympathiser whine on and on about ‘cancel culture’ and ‘SJWS!!!!!’ and all sorts of reactionary nonsense, frothing to anyone & everyone from Fox News to Newstalk ZB. But the Dixie Chicks are one of the few that can truly speak as to what it means to be ‘cancelled’, and for nothing close to the sort of bigotry and plethora of -ists & -isms that typically constitute a thrashing on the level that the Dixie Chicks received in the early ‘00s for daring to be like ‘Bush is bad!’. It was so damaging to their experience of the music industry that, aside from a triumphant 2006 ‘fuck you’ album, their material over the decade and a half has been almost zilch.
So that reason alone, it’s good to hear from the Dixie Chicks again. Welcome back, girls! “Gaslighter” is a similar ‘fuck you’ single, but in a different manner – while Taking The Long Way was their defiance of a political machine meant to deny the surprising dissent of three rich white women, “Gaslighter” is a much more personal form of dissent. It’s your typical ‘shitty man be bad’ anthem, but with more pointed lyrics than typical of that micro-genre. The Chicks may be Dixie, but they’re not demure. It’s undeniably simple, but if you’re laying out how shitty and abusive your ex has been, do you need to wrap it up in poetry? Nah, and that’s good.