The Dixie Chicks have officially dropped the “Dixie” from their name. The iconic country-pop trio of Natalie Maines, Emily Strayer, and Martie Maguire are now simply called “The Chicks,” changing their website URL and their Instagram handle to the new name on Thursday.
On their website, the trio only offered this statement: “We want to meet this moment.” In a press statement, they added, “A sincere and heartfelt thank you goes out to ‘The Chicks’ of [New Zealand] for their gracious gesture in allowing us to share their name. We are honored to co-exist together in the world with these exceptionally talented sisters. Chicks Rock!”
The move comes in light of the country’s ongoing protests and conversations regarding the history of racism in the U.S., and follows on the heels of Lady Antebellum pulling a similar move by changing their band name to Lady A.
Along with the name change, the Chicks released a brand new single on Thursday, titled “March March,” which will be appearing on their upcoming fifth studio album, Gaslighter. The protest song, produced by Jack Antonoff, combines a minimalist electronic beat with subdued instrumentation from Maguire’s fiddle and Strayer’s banjo.
Lyrically, Maines addresses everything from Greta Thunberg and youth climate protests to gun violence and underpaid school teachers, over a music video that edits together footage from recent Black Lives Matter protests and police confrontations. Toward the end, as Maguire dives into a fiery fiddle solo, the names of black Americans killed by police flash onscreen, and the video concludes with a message from the Chicks — “Use your voice. Use your vote.” — along with links to various social justice organizations and nonprofits.
Gaslighter, the Chicks’ first album in 14 years following 2006’s Taking the Long Way, arrives on July 17th.