The Chapel Hill chamber-folk group Honey Magpie had planned to release its second album, Midnight Morning, in April, but decided to wait until September 18 because of the COVID-19 crisis. They’re releasing a string of singles from it in the meantime, and we’re premiering a lovely one today before its official release tomorrow.

The poignantly titled “Late Spring Tragedies” stages three vignettes of nature’s quiet, gentle cruelty in apt, evocative music. An acoustic-guitar strum spreads out like a carpet of leaves, the vocal line is like light playing through branches, and the fiddle is as bittersweet as fresh pine. Twinkling breezes of piano and keys finish the arrangement. It’s a “never know what you’ve got until it’s gone” kind of song, but the gracious tone keeps the blues at bay, and the sonnet-like rhetorical turn in the last verse changes the mood from hurting to hopeful.

Honey Magpie currently consists of guitarist and pianist Rachael Hurwitz and cellist Pippa Hoover, both of whom sing; former violinist and singer Kati Moore is also featured on this recording. Follow them on Facebook or Instagram for news of future singles and virtual shows, and enjoy “Late Spring Tragedies” today:

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