Gaslighter

Album: Gaslighter (2020)
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Songfacts®:

  • A gaslighter is a person who covertly sows seeds of doubt in a targeted individual by manipulating events and situations. The aim is to destabilize the victim and discredit their beliefs in order to destroy their perception of reality. The term originated from the 1938 psychological-thriller stage play Gas Light and its 1944 film adaptation.

    This punchy breakup song finds Natalie Maines calling out an ex-lover about his manipulative behavior. After accusing him of lying to her, she pours on the gas and lights the match.

    Tried to say I'm crazy
    Babe, you know I'm not crazy
    But you gaslighted
    You're a la-la-la-liar
  • In July 2017, Maines filed for divorce from husband, actor Adrian Pasdar, citing irreconcilable differences. The breakdown of their marriage served as inspiration for this power anthem.

    The Dixie Chicks originally planned on releasing a record of covers in order to fulfill the last installment of their seven-album deal with Sony. However, when Maines' marriage ended, it re-stoked her love of songwriting.

    "When I started getting a divorce, I had a lot to say, so that kind of sparked me," the singer told Zane Lowe on Apple Music. "Songwriting is really hard for me, and I think, for many years, I didn't want to analyse my life or my relationship. I was just in it and dedicated and devoted... I just was not ready to open up like that."
  • Frequent Taylor Swift collaborator Jack Antonoff co-wrote and produced "Gaslighter." Rumors of new music coming from Dixie Chicks following their 13-year hiatus started when they featured on Taylor Swift's 2019 track "Soon You'll Get Better." Emily Strayer admitted to Zane Lowe that Dixie Chicks planned to write the album with lots of different people, but after writing this song with Antonoff, they knew they had the sound they wanted for the record.
  • The Seanne Farmer-directed video depicts the militant strength of women through the centuries. The clip features shots of the trio on an old-fashioned TV wearing outfits inspired by old military uniforms. Farmer spliced them with archival Hollywood performances, PSA-style voiceovers, and other images of vintage Americana.

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