Playlist: HITS magazine

To celebrate the release of our first print issues, here's a playlist featuring all artists involved.

HITS x Berlin

We hosted our very first live gig in Berlin - and this is what it looked like.

Cover The HITS

Our latest video series - covers performed by our favourite acts, exclusively for us.

Video Interview: Scenic Route To Alaska

Melting away in front of Stuttgart's castle, we had a chat about touring, band names, Toy Story and a lot more.

Find us on YouTube!

Visit us on the 'tubes for interviews, exclusive performances and outtakes.

Album Review: "A Beginner's Guide To Bravery" by David Keenan

16th January 2020 //

Hey everyone!

If on this mighty fine Thursday you are looking for an escape,
an escape to a sound world you might've not explore before,
we invite you to check out David Keenan's debut album.

We get this feeling of pure joy whenever an album takes us on a ride and lets us lose ourselves in the music. (Not an Eminem pun, promise!)
David Keenan's album did exactly that for us, so please join us on journey of discovering the album.

Artist: David Keenan
Title: A Beginner's Guide To Bravery
Genre: Folk
Label: Rubyworks
Release Date: 10th January 2020

David Keenan is a singer/songwriter from Dundalk, Ireland.

David has always found the fascinating in the seemlingly mundane. That creativity and imagination have helped the songwriter to find his style.
On the journey of finding his style and voice, David went to Liverpool to find Lee Mavers, singer of The La's. And while he didn't find Lee, he found confidence - confidence in his writing, his performing and his ability to sing each song like it was his last, an ability he admires in artist such as Damian Dempsey and Jacques Brel.

His debut album, "A Beginner's Guide To Bravery" was written over the span of four years, embedding stories of the past, present and future within the eleven tracks which were recorded within a week. Giving the songs time to tell him exactly where they wanted to go shows David's ability to really lean in and let his craft develop.

And he's right - there's no sense in rushing, it's just the beginning. Journeys unfold over time.

His passionate performances have captivated large audience including the times he played support sets for Glen Hansard, Rodrigo y Gabriela and Hozier.

1) James Dean
2) Unholy Ghosts
3) Altar Wine
4) Love In A Snug
5) Tin Pan Alley
6) Good Old Days
7) The Healing
8) Origin Of The World
9) Eastern Nights
10) Evidence Of Living
11) Subliminal Dublinia

Opener "James Dean" prepares you for the journey you are about to embark on in the most gentle way. It's minimalistic, it's soothing, the closer you listen, the more you'll find yourself ready for more. More poetry, more stories sung by David.

"Unholy Ghosts" unfolds and blossoms into a song bigger than the first few chords would let you suspect. Towards the end you are engulfed in warm fiddles, steady drums, welcoming acoustics and a voice you don't want to stop listening to. 
Of course "Altar Wine" needs to be mentioned. It gives us the feeling of driving on the highway past midnight, you're one of the only ones travelling, travelling to where you're going but also travelling to where David Keenan takes you with this song. It's one of the most haunting, most captivating songs on the record.

It seems like David has a thing for starting a song off calm and mysterious, but letting it crescent into something bigger than imaginable. With choruses that make you move your entire body, "The Healing" wins you over with rapid rhythms, intensifying instrumentals and the passion with which David tells you these stories.

To sum it up: David Keenan has managed to create his very own sound world. One that's filled with poetry, charm and mystery. It allows you to go on a journey as you travel through the songs, discovering new elements and highlights each time you listen. "A Beginner's Guide To Bravery" is a record that transports you into another place and time and that's a pretty big achievement.

You should listen to these tracks: Unholy Ghosts, Altar Wine, The Healing, Origin Of The World

Watch David's acoustic performance of "Alter Wine" right here:

- buy and/or stream "A Beginner's Guide To Bravery" here -

David Keenan online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify | YouTube | Instagram

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Words: Vanessa Jetwash | Image: via Backseat PR

Song Of The Day: "Wherever You Are" by Kodaline

10th January 2020 //

Hey everyone!

Kodaline are starting the year off right.
Ten days into 2020 Kodaline fans are blessed with a new track after the band has been hinting at releasing new music through their last few posts on social media.

The four musicians from Ireland had a busy couple of years.
Whenever they aren't writing and recording music, they are out there touring the world.
(Or filming interviews with us... #1, #2, #3.)

2019 has seen them touring a lot and some more, playing songs off of their latest album, "Politics of Living". Steve, Mark, Jay & Vinny seemingly have found a brilliant rhythm of releasing EPs and albums in between their extensive tours.

- Song Of The Day -
"Wherever You Are" by Kodaline

Steve says about the song: "'Wherever You Are' is a song about loved ones staying in your heart and mind even when they're not with you. I wrote it specifically for my girlfriend as due to being away on tour all the time we never really got to see each other."

The song is a hopeful one, it's comforting right from the first note on.
With heartfelt lyrics and an uplifting melody, Kodaline have once again managed to stay true to the elements their fans love while also evolving and going the direction that feels most natural to them.

We get harmonies, we get acoustic guitar, we get a rhythm section that drives the song and we get a damn beautiful message. The way the song is structured allows you to go on a journey with the band; going from calm and soft to upbeat and powerful, you experience every detail fully.

Listen to "Wherever You Are" right here:

- buy and/or stream "Wherever You Are" here -

Kodaline online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify | YouTube | Instagram

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Words: Vanessa Jetwash | Image: Kodaline

7 songs: Liam McClair

8th January 2020 //

Hey everyone!

With this post we welcome you to 2020 at house in the sand.

We are excited to have another 12 months of music discovery ahead of us.
Just imagining how much fantastic music we will be hearing this year is getting us all giddy - and we hope you feel the same.

We promise you to find even more unique and exciting ways to showcase music for you this year, so all we ask is that you stay tuned and enjoy the process with us.

To kick off the year, we are thrilled to share Liam McClair's selection of seven songs.

We've featured Liam multiple times and always get excited to hear new music. With his at times calming, at times rumbling folk pop sound, Liam has found his signature sound with ease.

Hailing in from Manchester, UK, it's no surprise he has been a big part of the music scene up there. But he's not only an essential in the local giging scene, Liam has also won over fans all over Europe with his thoughtful lyrics, warm vocals and comforting instrumentals. He also played support slots for Newton Faulkner and Echo & The Bunnymen, showcasing his talents to bigger audiences.

To share his latest single, "Nice Guy" with you, we've asked Liam to talk us through seven songs he enjoys for different reasons and at the end of this post he even told us more about the new single.

Let's check out Liam's selection!

1) a song which makes you dance
"Superstition" by Stevie Wonder

When I was a student in Liverpool, I'm sure I annoyed a lot of the DJs in the bars I'd go to by asking them to play this, then forgetting when they said no as I was a little drunk and asking them again!
I love it and it always makes me want to dance.


2) a song that calms you down
"Something So Right" by Paul Simon

This song is really soothing and we used to listen to it in the car when my mum was driving.
There is something about the feel of the song I find so relaxing and the older I get, the more I can relate with the lyrics.


3) a song that means a lot to you
"American Pie" by Don McLean

I think I'll go with "American Pie" by Don McLean.
Every Easter as a kid or as many I can remember, my family and I would visit the Isle Of Arran of the coast of Scotland and this would be our song we would all sing along to as we winded our way around the island via the narrow country lanes. It always makes me smile.


4) a song that makes you feel nostalgic
"Bongo Bong" by Manu Chao

When I was 19, I travelled around Asia, Australia and America with four friends from home.
We had an amazing time and this song always reminds me of that trip. One of my friends made a photo slideshow and used the song as the soundtrack, so I've always been transported to the freedom of travelling whenever I hear it.


5) a song which has accompanied you for a while
"So Fresh" by Will Smith, Biz Markie, Slick Rick

When I was 10 or 11 I borrowed "Willenium" by Will Smith from my sister and I don't think I ever gave it back!
This track is one that I always find myself singing and I just loved it so much as a kid. I'd never heard four or five artists on one track before and I thought it was amazing.


6) a song from your favourite genre
"The Man In Me" by Bob Dylan

I love singer/songwriter music. If that counts as a genre, I'm not sure.
But Bob Dylan is one of my favourites and this is one of my favourites of his.


7) a song by an artist / a band which has surprised you
"Teeth White" by The Staves

I'd heard The Staves doing acoustic music and their harmonies blew me away, but I always thought they were predominately folky, when Spotify sent me "Teeth White" I loved it pretty much from the start and then the video just confirmed it's one of my favourite songs!


What do you hope listeners will feel when listening to your new single "Nice Guy"?

Hopefully they can relate to the sense of wanting to feel like you have to be liked all the time and that being nice is a pressure that is prevalent in society.

Liam McClair online: Website | Spotify | YouTube | Instagram

And that was Liam's selection!
What did you think? Did he feature any tracks you love?

Previous 7 songs features: The Rose Affair | Ava Rae Heatley | John Thacker | Racoon Racoon

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Words (intro + outro): Vanessa Jetwash | Image + Words (about songs): Liam McClair

Editor's Note: 2019, that was something.

31st December 2019 //

Hey everyone!

Vanessa here.
It's a little tradition for me to sit down on December 31st of every year and just reflect on the year.
And because OCD is running this ship, I'm here to review 2019.

I'll start with the obvious - house in the sand is still here.
It might've gotten quiet a lot around here this year, but we're still very much an active part of the mess that is the music industry. Technically we had 365 opportunities to quit this year, but we didn't.
And I'll be honest, sometimes it would've been easier to quit and just to let the waves take it, but we've built this up too much to let new algorithms and horrible blogging trends take it away from us.

We did a bunch of cool things in 2019. 

We celebrated seven years of HITS and released our first official merchandise - and you guys actually went to buy and wear it. Mind = blown!

We made and released our first ever print issue - what what what! 

HITS magazine #1 features 26 artists, some of which have been a part of HITS for years.
The magazine allowed us to have in-depth chats with acts such as Kodaline, Alice Merton, Lissie, Martin and James and so many more. We shot the cover at Wembley Arena in London and were over the moon to have the brilliant ROE be our first cover artist.

We saw the artists we featured reading the magazine and celebrating with us. 

This year we heard amazing new music from Rhys Lewis, Hozier, Maggie Rogers, dodie, Kat Frankie, Jim Kroft and so many more.
The Jonas Brothers reunited and we cried when we received the press release.

We had super fun chats with Dean Lewis, Alex Francis and so many more.

We photographed Lewis Capaldi, Dermot Kennedy, Blossoms, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Hozier and more. Artists we truly admire have been in front of our lenses.

We hosted living room shows, we hung out with music folks we care about, we laughed because of music, we cried because of music.
We found lifelong friends in bloggers, photographers and managers.

And what we're most proud of is that we didn't bow down to the pressures of getting the most views and compromising our standards for it.

We know that a lot of you reading this have been with us for a long time and we know that some of you just found us in 2019.

No matter how much time you have spent on HITS, please know that we are so thankful to have you around. If it wasn't for you, this place wouldn't be the lively platform that it is. You make sharing music fun because you are there to receive it. Because you are there to tell us what you think.

So, thank you for your visit - today and always.

Much love,

Credits // Words & Image: Vanessa Jetwash | Embedded images belong to their linked creators.

Playlist: Christmas 2019

23rd December 2019 //

Hey everyone!

We almost didn't make it in time.

The past few weeks have been a wild ride and pre-Christmas excitement has been on shoved in the backseat.

But then we had a realisation: music is such a big part of Christmas - whether you celebrate Christmas or not - the cheerful songs are everywhere.
And as a source for brilliant music, we'd be missing out if we didn't share some of our favourite holiday songs of 2019 with you.

We hope that you can relax, recharge and just drop feeling any of the pressure we've all been feeling over the past 50 weeks.
The holidays should give us time to reflect, to set new focus, but most of all, to just be.
Be whatever we want to be without any deadlines, any worries and any stress.

If you aren't able to have a cheerful holiday season, we hear you.
 Hang in there, it will get better and you're not alone, no matter how dark it may feel.

To make sure we can supply you with some wonderful music for this festive season, we made you a playlist and hope you'll find yourself singing along.

Please enjoy our Christmas 2019 playlist:

Featured artists: Alex Francis, Oh Wonder, Hudson Taylor, Gabrielle Aplin, Hannah Grace,
 Rhys Lewis, Taylor Swift, Jane's Party, Wrabel, Jonas Brothers, Sigrid

While we are very much in need of just dropping it all for the rest of the year, we'll still be looking back on 2019 within the next few days.

Happy Holidays!

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Words & Image: Vanessa Jetwash

Gig Photos: Dayglow at DC9 Nightclub, Washington (November 2019)

18th December 2019 //

Hey everyone!

We're getting closer and closer to the end of the year (and decade),
but that doesn't mean we have to slow down exploring music we love just yet.

There still is time to find new favourites that ultimately will appear on your Spotify Wrapped next year. So let's give the corporations some data!

Our DC photographer Gabby Ames went to see Dayglow last month and got us some brilliant shots.

As always, please take the time to support Gabby online:Website | Twitter | Instagram


Date: 8th November 2019
Venue: DC9 Nightclub, Washington (DC)

Headliner: Dayglow

Dayglow is the alias singer, songwriter and producer Sloan Struble uses to release catchy indie pop.

Hailing in from Fort Worth, Texas (US), Sloan started Dayglow in 2017 and pretty quickly found his sound. Although he didn't grow up in the art scene or in a musical surrounding, so it was up to him to find what he loved and create his own thing.

Writing and producing everything himself, Sloan felt inspired by Tame Impala to write on his own but tour with a band. Finding inspiration not only in music but also in places, his debut album "Fuzzybrain" pretty much just bubbled out of his brain. (Pun intended.)

We quickly became fans of Dayglow's sound and we're pretty sure you'll be adding him to your playlists in no time.

Watch the music video for "Listerine" right here:

Dayglow online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify | YouTube | Instagram


And there we go!
Have you seen Dayglow live yet?

Thank you for your visit!


Credits // Words: Vanessa Jetwash | Photography: Gabby Ames | **a ticket and photo pass have kindly been provided**

Song Of The Day: "Jackboot Jump (live)" by Hozier

22nd November 2019 //

Hey everyone!

As bloggers it is expected of us to be quick when it comes to new releases.
We need to consume quickly in order to write quickly - and that's something you adapt to over the years and get quite good at.

We love the immediacy of writing and sharing, knowing that once we hit "publish", we can talk to music fans and get their reactions.
It's brilliant.

But sometimes we prefer having an extra day and night to sit with a piece of music, to really understand it.
We decided to do just that with Hozier's brand new single and it was definitely a good idea.

- Song Of The Day -
"Jackboot Jump (live)" by Hozier

After writing a tribute song for those artists who have used and still use their voices and don't shy away from writing protest songs. "Nina Cried Power" was Hozier's powerful return last year and perhaps it was the first nod to what was to come.

With his brand new single "Jackboot Jump", Hozier has gone and given an even bigger nod to traditional protest songs written by artists such as Pete Seeger and Woodie Guthrie. (Both artists are also named in "Nina Cried Power".)

The song is a live recording from his show in El Paso, Texas and only features the drums, played by Rory Doyle, the electric guitar and his vocals.
Although only using three elements for the song, it still sounds huge. The riff is as mindblowing as it is catchy, staying in your even when the song ends.
Power and depth are what the drums deliver so brilliantly and give the song the signature stomping sound we associate with Hozier.

While the majority of the song highlights injustice, political unrest and oppressive regimes (examples: Standing Rock, Moscow, Hong Kong), Hozier uses the last verse to show the hope he has in those who protest and use their voices to demand change: 
"All around the world
You'd think that things were looking rough
But the jackboot only jumps down
On people standing up
So you know good things are happening
When the jackboot needs to jump"

It's just a bloody great track, so we advice you to check out the video below.

Watch Hozier's performance of "Jackboot Jump (live)" right here:

- buy and/or stream "Jackboot Jump (live)" here -

Hozier online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify | YouTube | Instagram

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Words & Image: Vanessa Jetwash

Gig Photos: Blossoms at Rock & Roll Hotel, Washington (November 2019)

19th November 2019 //

Hey everyone!

Happy Tuesday!
Well, Tuesday generally have a bad rep, don't they?
The weekend is over, Monday has seen most of us return to work, whether that's 9 to 5 or 24/7 (hello there fellow freelancers!), it can be a bit of pain in the behind.

But isn't it also kind of cool how we collectively conquer another week?
We kinda think it is.
And to make it a lot easier, we think you need decent music - which we love providing to you.

Our DC based photographer Gabby has some photos of two brilliant bands for you today and if you add those two bands to your playlist, your Tuesday will improve about 124%.

As always, please make sure to support Gabby's work online:
Website | Twitter | Instagram


Date: 5th November 2019
Venue: Rock & Roll Hotel, Washington (DC)

Support Act: Inhaler

Inhaler are a four piece from Dublin, Ireland.

They met at school and soon realised they all share interests and had similar tastes in music. This, of course, led to them uniting to bring quality rock music to the crowds.

Inhaler are:
Elijah Hewson (vocals, rhythm guitar)
Josh Jenkinson (lead guitar)
Robert Keating (bass)
Ryan McMahon (drums)

The guys have already released a bunch of singles, such as the soundtrack-like "It Won't Always Be Like This" and their latest, "Ice Cream Sundae", a groovy retro number.

After seeing them opening for Blossoms, we certainly can't wait to hear more from them.

Watch the music video for "Ice Cream Sundae" right here:

Inhaler online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify | YouTube | Instagram


Headliner: Blossoms

Blossoms are a five piece band from Stockport, UK.
Their sound has drawn inspiration from bands such as Oasis and Artic Monkeys to the classic 80s Pop elements.

They started out as a school band, named after a local pub.
As the band came together, they pretty quickly found their sound and started writing and releasing their debut single, "You Pulled A Gun", and soon after dropped their debut EP, "Bloom".

Blossoms are:
Tom Ogden (vocals, guitar)
Charlie Salt (bass, backing vocals)
Josh Dewhurst (lead guitar)
Joe Donovan (drums)
Myles Kellock (keyboards, backing vocals)

After signing to Virgin EMI, Blossoms kept releasing EPs while gigging around the country and playing festivals, including a set at Glastonbury in 2016.
Their self-titled debut album made it to number 1 in the UK charts and they haven't slowed down since.

Besides touring all over the place, Blossoms wrote and recorded another album and released the "Cool Like You" LP in 2018.

Watch the music video for "Your Girlfriend" right here:

Blossoms online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify | YouTube | Instagram


What's your favourite Blossoms track?
Let us know!

Thank you for your visit!


Credits // Words: Vanessa Jetwash | Photography: Gabby Ames | **a ticket and photo pass have kindly been provided**