For the anti-album consumer, The Chicks have been more than generous with the release of music before they dropped their new album, Gaslighter. In fact, the same day that their current project came out, they also released the fourth single from the project, “Sleep At Night.” And we’re sensing a trend.
On the surface, Natalie Maines, Martie Maguire and Emily Strayer seem to be mad as hell – mad at men that have done them wrong, mad at a music industry who treated them unfairly, mad at injustices around the world. And make no mistake, they are mad, but they’re also hurt, pensive, confused, thoughtful, passionate, caring and loving.
They’re all of us.
In “Sleep At Night,” though, there’s also a sense of angst and betrayal. Written by Natalie, Martie and Emily, along with Teddy Geiger and Justin Tranter, the song seems pretty overtly about Natalie and her tumultuous divorce from ex-husband Adrian Pasdar.
“Remember you brought her to our show at the Hollywood Bowl / She said, ‘I love you, I’m such a fan.’ / I joked that you can love me as long as you don’t love my man / There’s nothin’ funny about that.”
The companion video to “Sleep At Night” is a dark art piece, leaving much of the meaning open to interpretation. The somewhat dismal, sepia landscape provides a striking contrast to the glamorous black sparkle and fur worn by The Chicks as they march down the roadside. Eventually, Natalie lies down in the road to sleep until Emily and Martie retrieve her. The end features the three embracing each other, essentially creating a barrier to the outside world.
Gaslighter does seem like the product of three women who felt silenced for too long, but in their angst, there are also moments of tenderness and heartbreak that remind us that no matter how strong and empowered The Chicks are, they are also vulnerable and raw.