A lot of good music was recorded in 2021

The good listening of last year spills over into the new year.

It may be 2022, but the music that area artists put together in 2021 is worth the listening time.
Contributed / John Sievers

2021 might be done, but it’s left us a lot of local music to enjoy.

This last year the Rochester area music scene has created albums and EPs that include everything from country to classical and hip-hop to post punk. Some local music heads have sung the blues, while others, like Lucas Horvath on his new record “The Something, Something of Someone, Someone,” have been singing in Japanese.

The area hip-hop scene has been hitting it hard with new projects from established local artists like No Trace and his catchy “The Final Master” EP. King Lunde’s “The Art of Relativity” album begins with an intro that claims it can’t be “conventionally explained or measured,” which might hold true for the rest of the area hip-hop scene as well.

On Rochester’s country front, Luke Hendrickson has been busy touring all over the country to support his recently released album “A Place to Call Our Own.”

“I’ve been able to expand my reach even further with this album,” he said. He played in 19 different states during 2021, but said that opening for Lindsay Ell in Rochester was one of the highlights of his year.


A long-time staple of the Rochester music scene, Jeremy Jewell released his first solo project this year. Entitled “Jeremy Jewell Loves You,” the record delivers on the promise his long history as a live performer in the area had already made.

One of the first local releases in 2021 was Annie Mack’s soulful five-track “Testify” EP. It garnered positive support early on from music writers like the Star Tribune’s Chris Riemenschneider who said it “confirms Mack's status as Minnesota's heir to the Mavis Staples throne.”

“Testify” also gathered support with air time on radio stations like The Current. “I got a lot of support from local radio,” said Mack.

Zach Zurn’s Carpet Booth Studios was responsible for capturing several of the area’s best-received local records like Clay Fulton & The Lost Forty’s memorable “When Trouble Comes” album and the heavy-hitting, punky Local Sports release “Birdwatching.”

Besides working on projects for local acts, Zurn’s studio also worked on the “Gravy Train Down Memory Lane” EP for the internationally recognized rap artist Yung Gravy who was born and raised in Rochester and graduated from Mayo High School. You might recognize the irreverent icon from his October appearance in a commercial with Martha Stewart where he ends up being poured out of her gravy boat.

Fires of Denmark’s “Relativity” release also earned some play time on The Current.

“Relativity” took Fires of Denmark to a performance at the legendary 7th Street Entry. If vinyl is your thing, you might hit up a local shop to find a copy of this sometimes ethereal and synth-filled record.

Hannah Lou Woods is a transplant to Rochester and the local half of the We Saw Lions duo. We Saw Lions released its second EP “Flesh & Bone” this past May on High Vibe Records. The project pairs reflective song-writing with danceable rhythms.


There were more than 35 new albums or EPs from the Rochester-area music scene released in 2021, and there’s something to appeal to just about everyone. If you haven’t made one or you've broken one already, your 2022 New Year’s resolution should be to check out all of last year’s local music.

The 2021 Rochester Record Roundup list includes albums and EPs released in the Rochester area music scene this past year.

Artist: Cole Allen
EP: The Other Side
Genre: Acoustic rock
Release: Nov. 12, 2021  

Artist: Clay Fulton & The Lost Forty
Album: When Trouble Comes
Genre: Folk rock
Release: April 7, 2021
Online: Clay Fulton & The Lost Forty | Spotify - Listen Free

Artist: Comatose
Album: A Way Back
Genre: Hard rock/metal
Release: Jan. 22, 2021
Online: Spotify – A Way Back

Artist: Cook with Honey
Album: Piecing It Together
Genre: Acoustic folk
Release: Jan. 21, 2021
Online: YouTube Music

Artist: Daboflai
EP: Way Darker this Time…2 
Genre: Hip-hop/rap
Release: April 30, 2021
Online: Spotify – Way Darker This Time.. 2

Artist: Pat Egan
Album: Milwaukee Road
Genre: Americana/folk
Release: March 15, 2021


Artist: Tim Emmons
Album: Guns and Coffee
Genre: Midwest country
Release: Nov. 8, 2021
Online: Guns & Coffee | Tim Emmons (

Artist: Fires of Denmark
Album: Relativity
Genre: Dream pop/indie rock
Release: Nov. 11, 2021
Online: Fires of Denmark is Mike Terrill

Artist: Glow Mechanics
Album: Butcher’s Block 
Genre: Hip-hop
Release: Dec. 23rd, 2021
Online: Butcher's Block | Glow Mechanics (

Artist: glowingtide
EP: glowingtide
Genre: Shoegaze
Release: Aug. 13, 2021
Online: Spotify – glowingtide

Artist: Amanda Grace
Album: Please Dear Sun 
Genre: Roots/blues
Release: July 9, 2021
Online: Please Dear Sun — Amanda Grace (

Artist: Luke Hendrickson
Album: A Place to Call Our Own
Genre: Country
Release: Oct. 29, 2021
Online: Spotify – A Place to Call Our Own

Artist: Lucas Horvath
Album: The Something, Something of Someone, Someone
Genre: Rock/pop/indie
Release: Dec. 14, 2021
Online: Spotify – The Something, Something of Someone, Someone

Artist: Horse Tornado
EP: The Great Pause 
Genre: Indie folk
Release: March 19, 2021
Online: Spotify – Horse Tornado

Artist: Jaggedease
EP: Live from Autumn Field
Genre: Alternative folk
Release: July 4, 2021
Online: ‎Live from Autumn Field - EP by Jaggedease on Apple Music

Artist: Janice Jurgenson
Album: Composition recital at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
Genre: Classical
Release: Sept. 12, 2021 
Online: Colors - Piano and clarinet duet composed by Janice Jurgenson - YouTube

Artist: Jealous Brother
Album: Back in Session
Genre: Americana/cowpunk
Release: May 4, 2021
Album: Take Me
Release: Dec. 9, 2021

Artist: Jeremy Jewell
Album: Jeremy Jewell Loves You
Genre: Folk rock
Release: Oct. 1, 2021
Online: Home | Jeremy Jewell

Artist: King Lunde 
Album: The Art of Relativity
Genre: Hip-hop/rap
Release: July 27, 2021
Online: The Prologue: Welcome To Wonderland (Prod: výrin) in The Art Of Relativity (

Artist: Raven Landers
EP: Raven Landers 
Genre: Indie rock
Release: June 9, 2021
Online: Spotify – Raven Landers

Artist: Local Sports
EP: Birdwatching 
Genre: Punk
Release: Aug. 6, 2021
Online: Local Sports (
Artist: Annie Mack

EP: Testify 
Genre: Folk rock/blues
Release: Jan. 29, 2021
Online: Testify | Annie Mack (

Artist: Chris Millner
EP: Now Here We Are 
Genre: Jazz rock
Release: November 2021
Online: Stream Chris Millner music | Listen to songs, albums, playlists for free on SoundCloud

Artist: Wyatt Moran
EP: Start Again 
Genre: Indie folk
Release: Feb. 19, 2021
Online: Spotify – Start Again

Artist: Night Dangers
EP: My Colossal Truth 
Genre: Indie rock
Release: Dec. 10, 2021
Online: My Colossal Truth | Night Dangers (

Artist: No Trace
EP: The Final Master
Genre: Hip-hop/rap
Release: May 28, 2021
Online: Spotify – The Final Master

Artist: Now What
EP: Imagine
Genre: Jazz/fusion
Release: March 17, 2021
Online: Spotify – Imagine

Artist: Alex Ortberg and various guest artists
Album: A Merry Lo-Fi Christmas
Genre: Lo-fi
Release: Dec. 16, 2021
Online: Stream Alexander | Listen to A Merry Lo-Fi Christmas - A Collaborative Lo-Fi Christmas Album playlist online for free on SoundCloud

Artist: Quake Jones
Album: Good Vibes & Junk Food
Genre: Hip-hop/rap
Release: June 18, 2021
Online: Spotify – Good Vibes & Junk Food

Artist: The Record Summer 
Album: Lay it Bare
Genre: New-wave/post-punk
Release: March 5, 2021
Online: Spotify – Lay It Bare

Artist: Blake Shepperd
EP: No Havens in Hell
Genre: Hip-hop/rap
Release: Aug. 23, 2021 
Online: Stream Blake Shepperd | Listen to NO HAVENS IN HELL EP playlist online for free on SoundCloud

Artist: Statehouse
EP: Amends
Genre: Indie rock
Release: June 4, 2021
Online: Statehouse (

Artist: VILD
EP: Subpar 
Genre: Indie pop
Release: Jan. 22, 2021
Online: Spotify – Subpar

Artist: We Saw Lions
EP: Flesh and Bone 
Genre: Indie-electro-pop
Release: May 18, 2021
Online: Spotify – Flesh and Bone

Artist: Xanacova
Album: Send Help
Genre: Rap/hip-hop
Release: Aug. 27, 2021
Online: ‎Send Help by Xanacova on Apple Music

Artist: Yung Gravy 
EP: Gravy Train Down Memory Lane
Genre: Rap
Release: April 23, 2021
Online: ‎Gravy Train Down Memory Lane: Side a - EP by Yung Gravy on Apple Music

Artist: Bobby V
Album: Non Directional Conformity
Genre: rock
Release: June 27, 2021
Online:  Lord I Belong to You - Bobby Pegram - YouTube

Artist: Sky Pilot
EP: No Havens in Hell
Genre: Hip-hop
Release: Nov. 25 2021
Online:  Stream Sky Pilot | Listen to SelfMade EP playlist online for free on SoundCloud

Artist: My Grandma's Cardigan
EP: Good For You
Genre: Indie Folk Rock
Release: Aug. 6, 2021
Online:  Spotify – My Grandma's Cardigan

Related Topics: MUSIC
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