It’s been a long past couple of years for the United States of America, and the Rainbow Girls know it as well as anyone. The Bodega Bay folk trio consisting of Erin Chapin, Caitlin Gowdey, and Vanessa May remind us in their brand new album’s titular tune that there’s still a reason to hope for us who are in the midst of facing such terrible adversity in this country.
In the accompanying music video for “American Dream”, the three
Rainbow Girls dish out some gorgeous three-part harmonies while Gowdey dishes out some captivating finger-picking on an acoustic guitar. It’s stripped-back music with a real heart to it, accentuating the newly revitalized trio version of the band while encapsulating the very essence of what that phrase “American Dream” was originally meant to convey.
Yet, it all goes a bit further for the trio than just buying some land and building a house. Gowdey says that the song “was one of those songs that spilled out pretty fast. I was messing around with a new finger-picking progression and just kept muttering phrases to myself that had been marinating.”
“It’s a song to bring up the dissonance between the Dream this country has been selling for decades and all the folks trapped under the weight of money who aren’t able to access it due to oppressive systems of power,” she continues. “People who are told their lives aren’t worth anything through the actions of government, police, and inaction of the justice system. Other’s experiences are not my stories to tell, but the desire for security, love, family, the money-related fear, grief, and hope for eventual happiness can be shared by everyone on some level.”
“We’re calling the album American Dream because the American dream is a thing that’s been proven time and time again to be a fantasy,” adds Erin Chapin. “The ideal of the American dream is this paradise that you achieve after you reach some sort of finish line. But what we’re learning is that you need to find the paradise in the small moments, and find the ‘dream’ in your everyday truth. We often separate ourselves from our dreams, by choice and design, and we don’t have to do that.”