It’s easy to write about the soft sands and rugged coastline of Cannon Beach. Even the rain can be romanticized.
But parking issues?
This spring, local musical couple Adams & Costello released a new album, “Soul Storm,” all inspired by what it is like to live in Cannon Beach — warts and all.
Julie Adams came to Cannon Beach 15 years ago to be closer to her father, and Michael Costello came two years after to be closer to Adams. The two are known for their “bluesy, soulful rock-Americana sound,” and produced their first album “You Better Believe It” in Cannon Beach two years ago.
Unlike previous projects, the songs on “Soul Storm” are rooted in Cannon Beach’s ruggedness, as well as its history and current events. One song, “Let’s Blow It Up,” is about when Haystack Rock was dynamited in 1968 to deter tourists from climbing it.
“Three Day Gale” retells the story of the windstorm in 2007 that knocked out power in Cannon Beach for a week. There is even an emergency preparedness public service announcement weaved in there with the song “Tsunami,” which tells the story of the 1964 wave and opens with a recording of the town’s infamous “mooing” warning siren.
“(This album) is for visitors who love the area, but maybe don’t know all the history,” Costello said as the main lyricist for the album. “But it’s also for the people who have lived here a long time and know it’s not easy sometimes. It’s a tribute to life in Cannon Beach.”
Many of the songs are light-hearted, with one even poking fun at people from California who buy homes in the summer and then must learn to love the rain in the off-season.
“Rain’s definitely a main character,” Costello laughed.
But some songs drill down deeper into cultural divides within the town. “This Little Town” is a cautionary tale about overcrowding and over developing the area, Adams and Costello said. Costello, who grew up on the East Coast, likened the future of Cannon Beach to Cape Cod, which he said has been overrun with too much traffic and trashed beaches.
“It’s great to grow thrive and expand, but when you grow you start to lose the natural aspect that makes it so special,” Adams said.
The conflict is highlighted by the album’s name, which Costello said is a double entendre between physical storms and a “battle for the soul of the town.”
Overall, Adams and Costello hope locals and visitors alike enjoy what they consider to be an authentic, humorous but not sickeningly-sweet look at Cannon Beach.
“It’s like a love letter to Cannon Beach,” Costello said. “And like any relationship, there’s ups and downs.”