“The story of the song is a father calling his son and saying things aren’t looking good, the well's running out of water,” Costa explains.
Drying wells at farms and private homes in Central California is commonplace. In Southern California, conversation about the slow disaster sounds different.
Deap Vally is a heavy rock-and-roll band from Los Angeles -- Julie Edwards on drums and vocals and Lindsey Troy on guitar and vocals. They’ve performed around the globe at music festivals with acts like Iggy Pop and Dinosaur Junior. They wrote "Drought" in 2012, reflecting on the drought in the San Fernando Valley.
They remember hot summers, popsicles, running through sprinklers and drought ads in the 1980s and '90s. From their perspective, Los Angeles has been coping with a perpetual drought.
“We took the backdrop of a drought,” says Edwards. “Rather than focus on the restrictions of it, we wanted to play with it. But we were making kind of a sultry, swampy, hot, sweaty, sexy song.”
The drought has even inspired a piece of classical music. Fresno State music professor Benjamin Boone wrote “Water(less) Music” earlier this year.
Boone wove a narrative about water and drought with recordings of former U.S Poet Laureate Philip Levine, who died in February, and then composed orchestral music around that narrative. In the symphony, two 44-quart bowls are played as instruments. There are thunderstorms, and at times just the faint trickle of water.
“The water at the beginning is coming down really steadily,” Boone explains. “At the very end, when they’re holding up water bowls with drips, it’s just barely dripping, and you don’t know when it’s going to run out or if it’s going to run out. It’s beautiful, but in a bittersweet way after hearing thunderstorms and hearing raindrops."