Top Tunes ’18: Natalie Colarossi

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Wow! 2018 has come and gone, and it’s about time we reflect on our favorite sounds of the past year. Leading up through the end of the year, WOUB Culture will be spotlighting what various music-centric people throughout the region have been enjoying the most for the past 12 months.

Natalie Colarossi (Submitted)

Natalie Colarossi: Avid music consumer and senior journalism major at Ohio University.

Here are the albums I couldn’t stop listening to in 2018, some old, some new. They come in no particular order, except for Courtney. She reigned supreme.

1. Courtney Barnett: Tell Me How You Really Feel

Song spotlight: “Hopefulessness”

I really liked this album the first time I heard it, but it wasn’t until seeing Courtney live this summer that I understood just how unique and powerful she is. Her unconventional tone, crystal-clear voice and witty writing pushed her to the top of the list as one of my favorite musicians of today. And her guitar… choppy oscillations, dense feedback, and one of the most unique finger-picking styles I’ve ever seen makes her a true visionary in both music and lyric. If you haven’t fallen in love with Courtney yet, you’re not listening close enough.


2. Radiohead: Hail to the Thief

Song spotlight: “There, There”

I went through a Radiohead revolution this summer. They’re geniuses. Nothing more to say.


3. Anderson .Paak: Oxnard

Song Spotlight: “6 Summers”

Anderson.Paak. The rasp and the rhythm. Yes Lawd!


4. Khruangbin: Con Todo El Mundo

Song Spotlight: “Cómo Me Quieres”

Inspired by music from around the world, Khruangbin brings a groove and style to instrumentals that I’ve never heard before. This album in particular takes a lot from Spanish and Middle Eastern music, blending soul, funk and psychedelia in completely fresh ways. And Laura Lee might be the coolest woman to ever walk this earth.


5. PJ Harvey: Rid of Me

Song Spotlight: “Rid of Me”

I think PJ Harvey will make it on my list of favorite albums every year. Last year it was Dry, her 1992 debut album, but this year she stole my heart with Ride of Me — one of the most badass, passionate rock albums ever made. Her power and creativity comes through with every desperate scream and slash of guitar, and her sexually explicit and emotional writing brings an edge to her music that remains unmatched. This album is manic, wild, and free.


6. Mazzy Star: She Hangs Brightly

Song Spotlight: “Halah”

I found myself listening to this album every time it rained, which in Athens, is quite a lot. Hope Sandoval’s voice is mesmerizing, and the lyrics are both harsh and beautiful. I imagine this would make for an incredible break-up album.


7. Blaze Foley: Sittin by the Road

Song Spotlight: “Cold, Cold World”

I’d be lying If I said the Blaze Foley movie didn’t change my perception of this somewhat unknown folk legend. I didn’t know much about Blaze before then, but I found myself digging through the archives of his career for many months after. Blaze’s music is a mix of raw pain, sweetness, and classic finger-pickin’ folk. He deserves your ear.


8. The Velvet Underground: The Velvet Underground

Song Spotlight: “What Goes On”

I’ve been listening to this album for a few years now, but something about it was just so poignant to me in 2018. A mix of raw distortion and heartbreaking ballads, Lou Reed brings it all in this self-titled album. This year is was “What Goes On” and “I’m Set Free” that I played obsessively.


9. Crumb: Crumb (EP)

Song Spotlight: “Bones”

Crumb is currently working on their first full-length album, but the EP they released in the meantime is enough to make it one this list. They’re young, fresh, and incredibly creative. Their melodic sound is a fusion of jazz, psychedelia, and funk, and their writing is both whimsical and relatable. This band is something to watch out for.


10. Twin Peaks: Down in Heaven

Song Spotlight: “Wanted You”

A friend of mine became obsessed with Twin Peaks this year, and after a bit of reluctancy at first, I quickly fell in love with them too. Taking influence from the Stones and the Kinks, the band mixes the classic rock sentiment with a sort of indie, garage-rock feel. They have an energy and spirit about their music that’s raw, fun and lively. Twin Peaks reminds you of the beauty and freedom in being young, and if you get the chance, you gotta see ‘em live. It was one of the most wild and raucous shows I’ve ever been to.