You can find part one here; https://thechriswhitingshow.wordpress.com/2013/07/16/hidden-gems-2/
I unexpectedly had a lot of fun broadcasting the last bunch of my favourite undiscovered tracks. So naturally, I’m going for part two…
Your Twenties – Billionaires
This song was played over the opening sequence of E4 series, ‘Beaver Falls’. Perhaps its through association with the programme that this song reminds me of Summer. I’ve never really bothered to decipher or in fact research what the song is actually about though the title may give some clarity. The song is a must for any Summer playlist, particularly apt for Summer Evening drives through the countryside.
Shakira – Gypsy
It’s not often that an artist whose native tongue is not English captures the attention of the Anglosphere but Shakira has done it time and time again. She’s probably best known for flailing around on a rock in ‘Whenever, Wherever’ or for ‘Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)” but one of her best tracks is ‘Gypsy’. This track incorporates elements from both folk and Indian music and tells the story of a traveller. You will struggle to find a more breezily infectious song than this. Also, if you’re a tennis fan, you’ll be enticed by the appearance of Rafael Nadal as Shakira’s love interest in the video above.
Izzy Marie Hill – Chuck Norris
It feels weird to be writing about Izzy Marie Hill seeing as she was two years above me at Badgerbrook Primary School once upon a time but I’ll make no apologies for including her in this list. Although, ‘Chuck Norris’ has received some airplay on Radio 1 and Izzy has been compared with both Jason Mraz and Taylor Swift, she has yet to take off. And to be honest, I can’t really see why – this song is charming, happy, melodic and must importantly catchy. The chorus lists all the mistakes Izzy could make, that would be less than not admitting her true feelings for a love interest, adding a quirky element to a very likeable song. There’s no doubt that this could be a hit.
Owl City – Vanilla Twilight
Solo act, Owl City burst on to the seen with ‘Fireflies’ in 2009. I was caught up in the hysteria surrounding the song at the time and bought his album, ‘Ocean Eyes’, which is seriously nothing special. Other than ‘Fireflies’ only ‘Vanilla Twilight’ stands out. The melodic synth-pop sound accompanied by poetic lyrics of longing mesh to make a haunting production, that is in ways far superior to its predecessor.
Black Eyed Peas – Electric City
Most people were critical when Black Eyed Peas repackaged themselves as electro-freaks in 2009 with the release – I can see their point. ‘Boom Boom Pow’ and later release, ‘The Time (Dirty Bit)’ may be offensive but some of the other tracks from The E.N.D. are thoroughly enjoyable. ‘Alive’ which nearly pipped ‘Electric City’ to a place on this list, is a master class is in rhytmic synth-pop whereas ‘Electric City’ is a bassy masterpiece.
Duffy – I’m Scared
Don’t be alarmed. Basically everyone on the planet forgot that Duffy existed. After, her titanous album, ‘Rockferry’ triumphed commerically and critically, Duffy simply vanished. Thankfully, the tracks of that very album were good enough to still be popular five years on. For me, ‘Mercy’ takes a back seat to the heartbreakingly honest, ‘I’m Scared’. The song retells Duffy’s fear of mortality following the sudden death of her boyfriend in a car accident – a thoroughly relatable concern. Powered by her exquisite tone, this song is truly great.
Izzy Marie Hill – Jimmy
I must stress that ‘Jimmy’ is tongue in cheek, I’m quite certain Izzy doesn’t really have a disdain for Emma Stone. The song tells the story of an obsessive fan of Jim Carrey’s setting her jealous sights on Emma Stone, who Carey publicly praised in a YouTube video. If you read the first ‘Hidden Gems’ – you’ll see that I seem to have a love for songs about crazed stalkers. ‘Jimmy’ isn’t as obviously good as her other tracks like ‘Chuck Norris’ or ‘Lovestruck’ but it does grow on you and by now, I’d probably say it’s my favourite track of hers. I’ve not had a chance to listen to the full album yet but it seems promising.
- Hidden Gems 2 (thechriswhitingshow.wordpress.com)