Not much went as planned last year, but Rochester’s musical vision was still 20/20.

Despite the pandemic, local acts have been making and recording incredible music all year long. Our community’s music scene has recorded everything from bumping deep house tracks to twangy country tunes, and from '20s-inspired instrumental guitar music to emo punk bangers. Records recorded in Rochester have landed on Billboard charts and graced the airwaves of radio stations.

Related: A different direction from NoTrace: Rapper releases “Broken Dreams,” a country/hip-hop single

NoTrace
NoTrace


Hip-hop artist and rapper No Trace hustled to put out four albums this year, including three he raps on — “Ariston,” “No More Pain” and “Empath” — and his instrumental “Out of the Blue.” Our hip-hop scene also included Jae Havoc’s “Mortals” album. The album played on The Current, and Jae Havoc closed out the year with a Live From Med City streamed concert in support of his record.

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Related:‘Here We Go,’ Jae Havoc raps on new album

His collaborator Mike Terrill’s project, Fires of Denmark, also managed to get air time on The Current with his dreamy “Start Living Outside of Time.”

Fires of Denmark
Fires of Denmark

Related:A timely message from Fires of Denmark

Some of Rochester’s music made it to vinyl. Luke Hendrickson’s country album “One Night at the Crystal Lounge” came out as a 33 1/3 with some beautiful album art by local artists Amy Dybing and Jessica Bruss. Hendrickson’s record, like several other important local releases, was recorded by Zach Zurn at Rochester’s own Carpet Booth Studios.

Related:Hendrickson releases Kickstarter-supplemented first full album

Zurn’s studio recorded the second full-length album from hometown legend and Mayo High School graduate Matthew Hauri, better known as Yung Gravy. Before recording at Carpet Booth, Yung Gravy already had platinum and gold tracks under his belt. His 2020 record “Gasanova” was No. 6 on Billboard’s emerging artists chart the second week in October.

Related: Looking forward, looking back: 'Singing Surgeons' on time in Rochester and the road ahead

Drs. Elvis Francois and William Robinson’s “Music Is Medicine” four-track EP was another Carpet Booth Studios project. The duo, known as the “Singing Surgeons,” consists of two orthopedic surgeons at Mayo Clinic whose scrub-clad viral videos of songs like John Lennon’s “Imagine” landed them on "The Ellen Show" in 2018.

The Singing Surgeons used their EP to raise funds for the Center for Disaster Philanthropy’s COVID-19 Response Fund.

Dr. William Robinson, left, looks on as Dr. Elvis Francois, who are known together as the Singing Surgeons, speaks to the crowd during an outdoor "Farewell Rochester" concert Wednesday, June 24, 2020, at Forager Brewery in Rochester. This week is the last week of Dr. Francois' and Dr. Robinson's Mayo Clinic orthopedic surgery residency. (Joe Ahlquist / jahlquist@postbulletin.com)
Dr. William Robinson, left, looks on as Dr. Elvis Francois, who are known together as the Singing Surgeons, speaks to the crowd during an outdoor "Farewell Rochester" concert Wednesday, June 24, 2020, at Forager Brewery in Rochester. This week is the last week of Dr. Francois' and Dr. Robinson's Mayo Clinic orthopedic surgery residency. (Joe Ahlquist / jahlquist@postbulletin.com)

When the EP came out, Rolling Stone reported that it was the nation’s 16th biggest seller via digital album sales.

Related: 2020 Rochester Musicians' Photo --see it now!

You’re sure to find some musical medicine to help you heal in our 2020 Rochester Record Roundup. Here’s the full list:

Artist: Aaron Simmons

Album: “Third St SW”

Genre: Country

Release: Aug. 28

https://www.amazon.com/Third-St-SW-Aaron-Simmons/dp/B08D7317DN

Artist: Cook With Honey

Album: “Letting Go”

Genre: Folk

Release: Jan. 23

YouTube: Jane Foote

Related: Songs about COVID: Local musicians set the pandemic to music

Artist: Doctor Elvis & Doctor Robinson

EP: “Music Is Medicine”

Genre: R&B/adult contemporary

Release: April 17

https://music.apple.com/us/album/music-is-medicine-ep/1508457960

Related: Photos: Singing Surgeons' Farewell Concert

Artist: Fall Risk

Album: “Close to Home”

Genre: Alternative

Release: Oct. 13

https://fallriskmusicmn.bandcamp.com

Artist: Fires of Denmark

Album: “Start Living Outside of Time”

Genre: Alternative/indie

Release: April 24

https://www.firesofdenmark.com

Artist: Tony Fuel

EP: “Change of Heart”

Genre: Deep house

Release: Dec. 11

https://www.traxsource.com/title/1469771/change-of-heart-ep

Artist: Ben Gateno

Album: “A Time When Things Were New”

Genre: Instrumental/solo guitar

Release: March 13

Ben Gateno on Spotify

Artist: Glow Mechanics

Album: “Pompous Circumstance”

Genre: Hip-hop

Release: Jan. 11

https://open.spotify.com/album/3iTnGh6yLq7J04E1lkXGJ7

Artist: Amanda Grace

Album: “Please Dear Sun”

Genre: Gospel

Release: Dec. 25

https://amandagrace1.bandcamp.com/album/please-dear-sun

Related: New music in the Med City

Artist: Nikola Hamilton

EP: “Darling”

Genre: Indie rock

Release: Nov. 13

https://spoti.fi/2VncBAD

Artist: Jae Havoc

Album: “Mortals”

Genre: Hip-hop/rap

Release: Dec. 17

https://linktr.ee/JaeHavoc

Artist: Luke Hendrickson

Album: “One Night at the Crystal Lounge”

Genre: Country

Release: Feb. 12

https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/lukehendrickson/one-night-at-the-crystal-lounge-2

Artist: Michelle Hilsman

Album: “Sapphire Blue”

Genre: Alternative indie

Release: Oct. 2

YouTube: Michelle Hilsman

Artist: Jealous Brother

Album: “Jealous Brother”

Genre: Rock/Americana

Release: Dec. 17

https://www.reverbnation.com/6751273/album/267225

Artist: Megan Kleven

Album: “I Am”

Genre: Contemporary singer/songwriter

Release: July 11

https://meganklevenmusic.com

Related: From volunteer to center stage: Kleven celebrates album release with Chatfield concert

Artist: Local sports

EP: “Actors”

Genre: Emo/punk

Release: March 26

https://localsportsmn.bandcamp.com

Related: Local Sports stretch their musical muscles with new EP

Artist: Loud Mouth Brass

Album: “Louder”

Genre: Brass Band/Pop

Release: July 31

https://www.amazon.com/Louder-Loud-Mouth-Brass/dp/B08CXCHVJT

Related: Loud Mouth Brass' latest EP strikes a new chord

Artist: David Nash

Album: “The Man in the Pines”; “Rise”

Genre: Folk/singer/songwriter

Release: Jan. 1; June 19

https://davidnash.bandcamp.com/album/the-man-in-the-pines; https://davidnash.bandcamp.com/album/rise

Artist: No Trace

Genre: Hip-hop/pop rap/instrumental

Album: “Ariston”; “No More Pain”; “Empath”; “Out of the Blue”

Release: Sept. 18; Sept. 21; Sept. 22; Nov. 6

https://unitedmasters.com/m/ariston; https://unitedmasters.com/m/nomorepain; https://unitedmasters.com/m/empath; https://unitedmasters.com/m/outoftheblue

Artist: Pat Egan and other artists

Album: “Quarantine Dream: a Benefit for Jessa Roquet”

Genre: Compilation

Release: Aug. 7

https://quarantinedreammn.bandcamp.com/album/quarantine-dream-a-benefit-for-jessa-roquet

Artist: Evan Spee

EP: “There Be Some Trouble Here”

Genre: Alternative folk

Release: Nov. 10

https://evanspee.hearnow.com

Artist: Statehouse

EP: “you know i should be leaving soon”

Genre: Alternative/indie folk rock

Release: April 10

https://statehouseband.bandcamp.com/album/you-know-i-should-be-leaving-soon

Related: Statehouse, separated by state lines, releases first EP

Artist: TRA

EP: “Tan Walls”

Genre: Hip-hop/rap

Release: Oct. 2

https://open.spotify.com/artist/5eCp2X0HsAI3HhfdzWshoX

Artist: Tulip Gang

EP: “Salvo”

Genre: Punk/lo-fi

Release: Nov. 6

https://tulipgang.bandcamp.com

Artist: Yung Gravy

Album: “Gasanova”

Genre: Rap/hip-hop

Release: Oct. 2

https://soundcloud.com/ygravy/sets/gasanova