As Raleigh, NC steadily grows, so does the Raleigh music scene. We’ve zoomed in on local upcoming music artists to create an Emerging Now: Best of Raleigh Music guide and playlist. Local residents of Raleigh can easily catch these artists playing events while exploring the Triangle. Check out our song picks and playlists below featuring Christian James, Paige King Johnson, Heather Sarona, Stray Local, and more!
*POETRY DANS LA RUE strives to promote new and upcoming artists in the music scene all over the world. Our goal is to provide a platform for ‘on the rise’ artists and encourage fans to discover new music.
Best of Raleigh Music: Top Songs
Christian James, a local Hip-hop/Rap artist, released a more Alternative style single, “Lately,” this May. “Lately” is an infectious earworm that takes us back to the days of streaming “Waves” by Mr. Probz while enjoying a summer cocktail. The single incorporates clever lyrics, “Baby, baby grab the phone seven digits, seven minutes till I land, Amy Winehouse records spinning like a ceiling fan.” The verses hit with just the right amount of diction and flow, leading to an undeniably catchy pre-hook and chorus. “Lately” is one of those songs you listen to once and can easily sing along by the last chorus. Follow Christian James for more new music coming next week!
Holly Springs native singer-songwriter, Heather Sarona, debuted her first album, Head Above Water, this past January. “Window to Break” is a standout coda to the Alternative-folk style LP. Haunting lyrics like “My treasure and my pride, there for you to take, my window’s yours to break” showcase the vulnerability of being unguarded in a relationship. Her folky vocals and southern charm will win you over in this soothing single. You can catch Heather in the Triangle over the next few months with her next appearance on September 17th at Mason Jar in Fuquay.
“Maybe We’re All” is a pensive, thought-provoking track by Raleigh Singer-songwriter John Sierra. The beautifully written, coffeehouse playlist-type song embodies longing and commonality. Sierra recounts several stories of lonely passersby and links a common ground by singing, “Maybe we’re all looking for love, maybe we’re all looking for home.” Check out John Sierra live around Durham and Raleigh from now until December!
Jon Ward Beyle has an Avett Brothers-esque style of vocals and storytelling on the single “Holding Hope” from his debut album Worth Stopping For (2021). “Holding Hope” is reflective and wistful, a perfect folk-rock ballad that starts soft and amps to close. The track is a true homage to songwriting in the sense of being able to connect with listeners and send a powerful message through music. Jon Ward Beyle frequents one of our favorite venues in Carrboro, Cat’s Cradle, and is set to play at The Evening Muse in Charlotte this Friday with Courtney Lynn & Quinn.
If you’re looking for an America’s sweetheart country singer in the Triangle, Paige King Johnson is your girl. Her single “American Beauty,” off of her debut album Honky Tonk Heart (released June 2022), could easily land her a few gigs opening for some of your favorite country artists. In fact, Paige has already been an opening act for the likes of Kane Brown, Scotty McCreery, Joe Nichols, and Gabby Barrett! “American Beauty” is a ‘tale as old as time’ classic country song with mature flawless vocals. The story of “American Beauty” is a reminder to young women, as well as a personal anthem to the artist, that you can chase your dreams, and everything will work out.
Paige has several upcoming tour dates in the area. She’ll be playing with local The Voice star Britton Buchanan in Sanford this Thursday!
Stray Local is an upbeat Indie-pop band that you may stumble upon while out in the Raleigh area. The husband-and-wife duo, Hannah and Jamie Rowen, have several catchy singles, including “Shiver,” an easy-listening pop track. Stray Local are also avid runners, and “Shiver” is a great soundtrack for a scenic jog in the triangle. Catch them live as they hop from breweries to coffee shops in the area.
Raleigh’s own Tiger Beach is on a roll of releasing new music. “Worthless” is our favorite track of their recent releases over the past year. Reminiscent of Wallows Tell Me That It’s Over vocally and The Cure’s Disintegration sonically, “Worthless” defines Tiger Beach’s Indie-rock sound. The key change on the bridge draws you in closer to the melancholic chorus, “Tell me that it’s always just so worthless, tell that I’m wasting all of my time, tell me that I’m never gonna make it.” The defining repetitive bassline continues through the end in a culmination of power-surging sounds. Follow Tiger Beach for updates on upcoming shows!
Check out all of these songs and more on our Emerging Now playlists below