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.

HITS we love: #1

7th February 2020 //

Hey everyone!

New feature alert!
We're trying something new!

"HITS we love" is basically a little collection of songs we are currently loving.
In the sea of new releases, it can be difficult to stay on top of everything and give every song its own feature - so with this one we are showcasing a handful of tracks for you.

It was so much fun curating this selection and we truly can't wait to hear what you think!

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"Cinnamon" by Hayley Williams

Hayley Williams is taking over the industry by storm, not missing a single beat.
Of course, the lead singer and songwriter from Paramore isn't new to this at all - but with her solo journey every day seems to be eventful.

Dropping part one of her upcoming debut solo album, Hayley shared the first five tracks to let fans experience the stories the same way she did.
"Cinnamon" definitely stands out with its mysterious and fully empowering vibe. The main message - "I'm not lonely, I am free" - is carried by a funky beat, danceable rhythms and of course Hayley's expressive vocals. It's a discovery of independence and we are so here for it.



- buy and/or stream "Cinnamon" here -

Hayley Williams online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify | YouTube | Instagram

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"No Way Out" by Cobi

Cobi first blew our minds with "Don't You Cry For Me", one of the most powerful songs we had heard at that time.
Since then, he kept on releasing brilliant track after brilliant track. His latest single, "No Way Out", has us holding our breath.

The honesty with which he sings the lines and tells the story of mental health struggles so openly is exactly what makes this song soulful, personal and relatable. Cobi's voice guides you through the track so beautifully and really allows you to connect with the words in the most vulnerable of ways.



- buy and/or stream "No Way Out" here -

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

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"Look Who's On TV" by ROE

It's really no secret that we are massive ROE fans over here, now is it?
But how could we not be? She's a genius and keeps on releasing incredible songs - "Look Who's On TV" being no exception.

There's an undeniable amount of talent coming from this fantastic songwriter - her arrangements are full of depth, her lyrics share stories of an entire generation and her voice presents those stories so truthfully.



- buy and/or stream "Look Who's On TV" here -

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

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"Everything Sounds Like A Love Song" by X Ambassadors

X Ambassadors have been on our radar for ages, their songs have been blasting through our speakers for a while.
"Everything Sounds Like A Love Song" is one you'd file under "absolute stunner". The melody so beautiful, the instrumentals invite you to dream, the vocals so powerful you can't help but listen to every single word.

This one is one of those tracks where every single element just works perfectly and creates a stunning piece of art.



- buy and/or stream "Everything Sounds Like A Love Song" here -

X Ambassadors online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify | YouTube | Instagram

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"In And Out Of Love" by Oh Wonder

We hope you're ready for a hauntingly beautiful love song - because Oh Wonder have delivered once again and we can't get enough.
The rather dark piano melody might make you think that it's a sad song, but it's really just a beautiful thank you note. The gratitude of finding your one, your partner is so prominent in the lines. Josephine's and Anthony's vocals blend together so perfectly and create the most beautiful harmony to compliment the message of the song.



- buy and/or stream "In And Out Of Love" here -

Oh Wonder online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify | YouTube | Instagram

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"hurts like hell" by Wrabel

It's a little ironic that a voice as beautiful as Wrabel's can break your heart, isn't it?
Well, it's the lyrics that really hit you.

Wrabel presents the words with such honesty and lets you basically hear the pain the experience brought onto him. As sad as the song is, it's also beautiful. It captures heartbreak and the pain that comes with it so beautifully and definitely offers comfort in its very own way.



- buy and/or stream "hurts like hell" here -

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

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We hope you enjoyed the first edition of HITS we love!


To make sure this feature is as good as it can be,
 please let us know what you think and what you'd like to see us do with it in the future.




Thank you for your visit!













Credits // Words: Vanessa Jetwash | Images left to right: Oh Wonder, Hayley Williams, X Ambassadors, Wrabel, Cobi, ROE

Song Of The Day: "Time" by Jack Garratt

6th February 2020 //

Hey everyone!

Jack Garratt is back and team HITS is thrilled!

We have been fans of his sound since we first heard "Water", back in 2016.
Soon after we got to interview him and had a blast. His live shows are mindblowing and his tweets are hilarious.

As the cool kids say - what's not to stan?
(Note: we are not the cool kids and have no idea what that means, but let's roll with it.)

Please join us as we dive into Jack's new music.


- Track Of The Day -
"Time" by Jack Garratt



Much like we were, the world was introduced to Jack back in 2016.
He won the industry over with "Worry", "Breathe Life" and "Surprise Yourself", showcasing a huge ability for multi-tasking on stage with his mindblowing setup.

Winning awards and selling out shows globally soon became the norm for Jack, yet it came with a lot of confusion and times of feeling alone and scared. Those emotions and experiences have led the musician to writing and recording his new record.

He just announced the release date for his second album, "Love, Death & Dancing", which will be released on May 29th and is available for pre-order.

Jack says about the upcoming album: "The album was written from the point of view of someone who has a functioning sadness, who has had his day-to-day depressions and anxieties that have influenced the decisions he's made. The album is about that functionality, that day-to-day battle, conversation, tug of war."

The first installment of songs, "Vol. 1", is out now and features the first single, "Time", along with two other tracks which Jack will be playing at his upcoming live shows, you can get tickets here.

"Time" is gentle, yet lively.
It's a celebration of making it through hard times, of hope and of reflection.

His warm and soulful vocals immediately fill your ears, guiding you through the colourful instrumentals with such ease.

Jack plays with sounds much like a painter would with drops of colour.
The outcome? Delicate, yet confident art.  


Each element has its place as they all collide into a journey of discovery. As a listener there's nothing more exciting than to sit down and listen to find as many layers as you can.

It's no surprise that Jack would come back with something so powerful and expressive.



Watch the music video for "Time" right here:




- buy and/or stream "Time" here -



Jack Garratt online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify | YouTube | Instagram







Thank you for your visit!












Credits // Words: Vanessa Jetwash | Image: Jack Wangner (via Island Records)

Song Of The Day: "Simmer" by Hayley Williams

23rd January 2020 //

Hey everyone!

Is it too early to say that 2020 is shaping up to be a brilliant year for music?
It might be, but we'll say it nonetheless.

There's something about that early in the year uncertainty that can feel exciting and refreshing.
We might not know everything the year has in store for us,
but we can say that what we already got is sounding fantastic.

Let's let the new release wind capture us with today's SOTD!



- Song Of The Day -
"Simmer" by Hayley Williams 


So, we assume you know Hayley Williams, founding member and lead singer + lyricist of Paramore, the band from Tennessee that has released hit singles such as "Misery Business", "Ignorance", "Ain't It Fun" and "Hard Times".

The band's latest LP, "After Laughter" saw the band discovering new sounds and blending happy 80s synths with honest and raw lyrics, creating an album era that will be remembered for a long time.

After finishing the After Laughter tour in 2018, things became quiet. The band took time to just be at home and not tour.

Since then Hayley co-founded "Good Dye Young", a haircare and colour company and has been finding new lanes to explore.
 She explains that she needed to write in order to work through things in her life and in the process,  the album, "Petals For Armor", came to life and will be released on May 8th.

"Simmer" marks the beginning of an adventure that will take Hayley on the road. Produced by Paramore band mate and life long friend Taylor York, it's clear that there's no bad blood.

Hayley says about the upcoming record: "I'm so ready and so incredibly humbled to get to share this project. Making it was a scary, empowering experience. Some of my proudest moments as a lyricist happened while writing "Petals For Armor". 
And I was able to get my hands a little dirtier than usual when it came to insturumentation. 
I'm in a band with my favorite musicians so I never really feel the need to step into a role as a player when it comes to Paramore records. This project, however, benefited from a little bit of musical naiveté and rawness and so I experimented quite a bit more."

"Simmer" welcomes you with a haunting synth, a dramatic breathing sound that almost sounds like a beat before it then kicks into a dark and steady rhythm. A heavy bassline guides you through the track, the guitars drive the song while the beat stays steady throughout.

Hayley's vocals fit and control the vibe beautifully. Switching from delicate notes to deep ones, her range shines brighter than before- in a very dark and hauting way though. Think "headlights in a forest" kind of shine.

Some of the most memorable and powerful lyrics would be: "If I had seen my reflection as something more precious, he would've never. If my child needed protection from a fucker like that man, I'd soon gut him, 'cause nothing cuts like a mother."


Watch the music video for "Simmer" right here:




- buy and/or stream "Simmer" here -



Hayley Williams online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify | YouTube | Instagram





Thank you for your visit!















Credits // Words: Vanessa Jetwash | Image: Lindsey Byrnes

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.


Tracklist:
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!
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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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!


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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