The Dixie Chicks are currently working on their upcoming album, but fans of the group got some new music from the trio ahead of that release thanks to Taylor Swift, who collaborated with the Chicks for the song "Soon You'll Get Better" on her latest album, Lover.
The track is a soft acoustic ballad, with Swift singing about helping a family member battle an illness as Natalie Maines, Martie Maguire and Emily Robison provide harmony and fiddles in the background. "Soon You'll Get Better" is the most country-leaning song Swift has released in years, and a handful of country radio stations have begun playing the song on their airwaves despite the fact that it is not a single.
The Dixie Chicks were famously shunned by the country music community after Maines criticized then-president George W. Bush's decision to invade Iraq in 2003. Stations instantly pulled the group's music and they were essentially blacklisted from country radio. In 2006, the Dixie Chicks released their album Taking the Long Way, which is the last time they have released new music. They have since toured and are currently preparing their new album.
While the Chicks' voices are so soft as to be virtually unrecognizable on the song, radio DJs who have named them as featured artists have received some negative feedback about the women's presence on their airwaves. On the other hand, many fans have simply responded to say that the like the song and can relate to it.
“It’s a song about her own mother struggling with cancer,” Mike Chase, a morning show host for radio station KWJJ in Portland told Rolling Stone. “We played the song and also posted it on our Facebook page. One woman [commented by saying] her grandmother had died ten minutes prior to us playing it. And right after that, some guy goes, ‘I guess it would be better if Taylor wasn’t ramming her politics down my throat.’ We thought, ‘wow: what a study in extremes.'”
"Soon You'll Get Better" was played by country radio 36 times in the week of Lover's release and seven more the next week.
“Why are we playing [‘Soon You’ll Get Better’]?” asked Johnny Chiang, Director of Operations for Cox Media Group Houston. “Simple reason: It’s a great song. If Taylor was still in country, we would have 100 stations adding it out of the box. So I don’t care that the song is not being worked to country.”0comments
“My goal is to get this damn thing charted [on the airplay chart],” he added, “even with no one working it.”
Photo Credit: Getty / Chris Polk