Brooklyn-based folk-pop musical trio, Camp Bedford, is on a mission to create a more inclusive idea of America. The all-femme, queer group includes the talents of Roxanne Quilty, Mariela Flor Olivo, and Tallen Gabriel, each a creative powerhouse in their own right. When performing together, the raw honesty and intimacy of their music are unmatched. There is no better example than their new single, “Our America”, out today.

The beauty of “Our America” lies in how it redefines the very genre it takes inspiration from. The acoustic texture of vocals, guitar, mandolin, and cello is reminiscent of traditional American folk music. Close listening will reveal a subtle incorporation of “The Star Spangled Banner” into the mandolin. The original lyrics of the US national anthem are reimagined in such evocative poetry as “the rockets glare, it chokes the air.” Through the lyrics, the listener is reminded of the tragic history of American colonialism. Yet, they also spark hope and optimism that “Our America can start anew.” These clever references to American patriotism evoke the quintessential folk soundscape in subtle but impactful ways.

“Our America” tugs at the threads of tradition. Its instrumentation soothes the ear, while the lyrics are far from peaceful. There is unrest in its undercurrents as it demands justice for all American citizens. Camp Bedford masterfully weaves the old into the new. They transform outdated messages into art that is not only updated and inclusive but, at its core, a call to action.

Camp Bedford Mission Statement

Our America is a national anthem for a country in peril. It’s easy to find ourselves in a cycle of existential dread amidst near-constant news of gun violence, attacks on queer rights, police brutality, and climate crises fueled by corporate greed. Our America is a call to the listener to stand together against the hatred and fear that our nation is built upon. It’s a plea to maintain hope in community and each other, to remember that we keep each other safe. Most of all, Our America imagines our ability to build a nation that truly uplifts and protects all of its inhabitants. 

We are releasing the track on the last day of Pride month, in time to give folks a message of togetherness and hope on July 4.

Have a listen below, and keep an ear out for those references!

Caitlin Moehrle