Need new local music to get you hype? Please consult Thursday’s post. If that one was a trampoline, this one’s a weighted blanket.

CHATHAM COUNTY LINE, a nationally noted Americana institution in Raleigh for two decades, is beloved for its traditional consistency, but that doesn’t mean it can’t change. Its ninth album, Strange Fascination, is its last with founding banjoist Chandler Holt and its first with drums on every track. Originally slated for a May 15 release, the record will now be issued by Yep Roc on April 24. 

Not usually a band to go for guest vocalists, CCL also breaks that mold on the title track, which it released in lyric-video form on March 18. “Strange Fascination” features none other than Sharon Van Etten, your favorite singer’s favorite singer. It finds the bluegrass band in a Wilco mood, with a melting acoustic arrangement and a caressing vocal line evocative of “Jesus, Etc.,” and it’s altogether lovely:

YouTube video

For SKYLAR GUDASZ, who was in the thick of pre-release promotion for her album Cinema when the coronavirus hit, the shutdown couldn’t have come at a worse time. But the album, undaunted, is still steered toward its April 17 release on local label Suah Sounds. On Friday, Gudasz premiered “Rider,” the third and final advance single, at The FADER. The video by her brother, Jason, finds Gudasz working alone at Durham’s Saint James Seafood in diner-waitress togs. The visual adds understated dramatic irony to the song’s glinting impressions of devotion and freedom. Watch it below, and subscribe on YouTube to catch the album-release livestream concert at 8:00 p.m. on April 17. 

YouTube video

Bonus tracks:

On March 20, the modern string band MIPSO released Edges Re-Run, a very chill and enjoyable EP of remixes of its most recent record, Edges Run. (Don’t worry, it’s ambient-leaning; nobody is throwing house beats behind Mipso.)

Speaking of Chapel Hill-based folk-pop, HONEY MAGPIE recently let loose a real moonbeam called “When the Darkness Comes,” the second single, after “Sweet Tooth,” from forthcoming second album Midnight Morning

With this preoccupation with illumination, perhaps they should meet ARSON DAILY, the promising young Raleigh garage-rock band that finds a cool, slinky groove on slow-burner “Looking for the Light,” from their forthcoming debut LP. 

And Raleigh psych-rockers EYEBALL imbue a rangy, tuneful space epic with an almost Sonic Youth-style diffidence in “Visions of a Moment Made,” the A-side of their new digital single. The B-side, “Delirium,” is a bit more sound FX than we can handle at the mo, but “Visions” really takes us for a ride.

Correction: “When the Darkness Comes” is the second single from Honey Magpie’s forthcoming album.

Contact arts and culture editor Brian Howe at

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