8. Delta Goodrem - Innocent Eyes - 2003
Even at 16 years old Delta Goodrem was making incredibly mature music. The title track of her debut album Innocent Eyes was easily the standout on a brilliant collection. Like a young Tori Amos, the jaunty piano track was a lot different to the more downtempo first two singles, Innocent Eyes was a lot more dramatic and showed a different side to Delta. It was refreshing to have a popstar like this back in 2003 - somebody so young with so much talent who had written these songs. An excellent piano breakdown two thirds of the way into the song shows the maturity and talent of Delta even at this age, and the lyrics were a lot darker than you would expect from somebody on their debut album, let alone a song released as a single. The song topped the charts in Australia and gave her a third straight top ten hit in the UK. It's probably a bit forgotten to the general public now in comparison to the likes of Lost Without You but this song and that album absolutely ruled my summer in 2003 - bridging the short gap but big change that was leaving high school and starting my first job and college all within the space of four months.
7. Sara Bareilles - Love Song - 2007
Amidst my obsession in late 2007 with Rule The World, Bleeding Love and one other song yet to come, a promising demo found its way onto my iPod. Love Song by Californian singer Sara Bareilles was an excellent pop song, a tongue in cheek ode to the irony of a record company looking for that 'hit single' to launch an album with - Sara went to write a song about not wanting to be forced into writing an album seller and voila this song was made. About two weeks after listening repeatedly to the demo, I finally heard the proper album version and I was instantly extremely impressed. I began to rave about Sara Bareilles to anyone that would listen from about November 2007 onwards. About two months later I heard that the song had become a hit in the US. However, I was shocked when it entered the UK charts in the summer of 2008 and gradually made its way up to the top five. I was suddenly hearing people in the street singing a song that I was championing as a demo over half a year before. It was odd indeed, but it was well and truly deserved. One hit wonder singer-songwriters come and go into the UK top ten; Vanessa Carlton, Daniel Powter, Sara Bareilles - but none of them had songs quite as joyful and deserving of success than Love Song - which along with being one of my favourites of late 2007, then became my most listened to song of 2008.
6. Delta Goodrem - Extraordinary Day - 2004
By far the highest 'album track' to make this countdown and with good reason - it's the only album track that I can recall hearing in this decade which absolutely blows me away every time I hear it - even five years on. Tucked away towards the end of the Mistaken Identity album, Extraordinary Day is easily the most personal song that Delta had ever written, focusing on the day that she heard that she had cancer - July 8th 2003. A horrible day for all involved, in particular Delta, and it was incredibly brave and surprising that she decided to put it into a song, which is by far and away the darkest song she has ever written. Ridiculously, most Delta fans saw this song as 'album filler', one of the worst on the album etc...So fine, if I'm the only huge fan of this song then that's fine because it is truly beyond stunning melodically. Delta's vocals are on top form, the background harmonies are incredible. Everything about this song reminds me of late 2004 - the second year of college in particular. Never has a non-single affected me so much as this song - describing the cancer as her 'defining story' really got to me. This song truly cemented Delta Goodrem as my favourite artist of the noughties, if not of all time.