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.

Artist overview of 2013

 Hey guys,

this is officially the last post of 2013. It's the 176th I wrote in that year and it's an overview of all artists I've featured and worked with this year.

I thought it would be quite nice to list all of them again so you can scroll through and check those out you missed. 

The list is in the order I featured the musicians. You can find the genres in brankets next to the artist/band and if you click their names you will be lead to the article (which includes songs and links) about them.

Best of 2013 on house in the sand

 Hey guys,

as I already mentioned in the last post I prepared a 2013 best of. 
I think since October or so I was desperately waiting to write such post. And today is the day! 

In 2013 I wrote 175 posts (including this one) for this site and it honestly amazes me that there are people who read them all. That's insane!

It was really hard to pick out a few favourites because behind each post there's a lot of time, thought and love. But I hope I did well picking some of the highlights - some are my personal ones and some got great feedback from you. 

Hope you enjoy this!
(To read the posts again simply click the picture of your choice and you'll be lead to the full article!)

2013's thank yous

Hey guys,

I love how at the end of each year everyone is getting quite a bit sentimental. I love that because I'm sentimental all year long and during this time I don't get weird looks for it.

To be honest, I'm not exactly sure what to think of 2013. 
Personally it wasn't my favourite year because there were lots of downs and rather bad moments but the journalist-y side of my life was quite wonderful.

Being a journalism student and blogger is not the biggest thing in Germany. It seems like most of the people don't have a clue what blogging is and actually everyone who writes can call himself a journalist.

Spotlight On: Liam McClair


Hey guys,

Liam McClair, a 22 year old singer/songwriter from Manchester, England is one of those unsigned musicians you better keep an eye on.

The genre to put him in would either be folk or acoustic pop. But I think it's a nice mix of both elements.
With nothing but his guitar and voice he's able to hypnotize you by telling stories in some of the most melodical and dreamy ways you'll ever hear.

EP Review: "The Cruise Control EP" by The 1957 Tail-Fin Fiasco

Band: The 1957 Tail-Fin Fiasco
Title: The Cruise Control EP
Genre: Pop / Rock
Release: 27th October 2013
hits rating: 8/10

Hey guys,

a little while ago the pop/rock band The 1957 Tail-Fin Fiasco from Essex, England contacted me and asked if I could feature them. 

After really short listen I was already conviced and began getting into their tunes.

Today is the day I review it for you. 

1) Cruise Control
2) The Legend Of Josy & The Juke
3) List Song
4) Breakfast Of Kings

Interview: The Arkanes

Hey guys,
the long time readers of you are probably already familar with The Arkanes.
The rock band from Liverpool, England has been featured a few times now because I really think they're good.

I got to know them when they supported Jim Kroft on tour and so I actually discovered their strongest side first - the live performance. 
But a live performance would not work without good (and handmade) songs, so I would definitely recommend listening to 2014's newcomer band.

They might be an insider tip now but let 2014 pass and see what happens.

Get To Know: Aaron Childree

Hey guys,
 Aaron Childree came over to introduce himself to all of you wonderful house in the sand readers.

I personally think that the aspects he shares and delivers with his music are super inspiring and motivational.
Transporting love and hope through music - what could be better?

Get to know Aaron and his music now. 
Who are you?
My name is Aaron Childree. I'm a pop singer/songwriter from Atlanta, Georgia. I sing and also play guitar and piano.

How would you describe your music?

EP Review: "Strange Shores" by Crash Island

Band: Crash Island
Title: Strange Shores
Genre: Indie Rock
Label: independent
Release: 23rd September 2013
hits rating: 9/10

Hey guys,

Crash Island is an indie rock band from London, with members from Spain, France, Wales and even South Africa.
The four piece band released their debut EP "Strange Shores", which I'm going to review today. 

So far Crash Island played gigs in France, Switzerland, of course the UK and in my home country, Germany.

Giveaway: and the winner is...

Hey guys,

you all know that I am always honest. And that's why I have to tell you that I actually hate todays post.
I have to announce the winner of the Jim Kroft Giveaway and it is so horrible to only let one of you win. 

For this giveaway I asked you to leave a comment telling me your favourite record(s).
And your feedback was just incredible - so many of you took time to actually write a blog post lenghty comment and honestly - that warmed my heart!
You all happen to be soooo passionate when it comes to music and I love that.

But there can only be one winner and it is:

The HITS Playlist: part 6

Hey guys,
we're already doing part 6 of the HITS Playlist. Isn't that crazy?

If you're not familar with the playlist yet - it consists of songs by artists that have been featured on this blog before.

I probably repeat myself in every blogpost but seriously - take some time to check out at least 3 of the artists. As there are a lot of genres mixed I think there should be something for you.
Due to that I also wrote the genre behind the artists. Maybe that helps. :)

EP Review: Dan meets Portland

Band: Dan meets Portland
Genre: Folk
Label: independent
Release: 2012
hits rating: 9/10

Hey guys,
I remember how I once did not like writing reviews. But things change and now I love it.
That's one of the reasons why I decided to review this EP by Dan meets Portland.

Another reason is that this music needs to be heard.

Dan meets Portland is a folk rock/pop band from Germany and Portugal. 
Members Dan Dietrich (vocals, guitar) and Julian Staehle (drums, percussions) are from Germany and Carlos Pereira (bass, vocals) is from Portugal. 

Album Review: "One More Cup Of Coffee" by Kosi

Artist: Kosi
Title: One More Cup Of Coffee
Genre: Blues, Jazz
Release: September 2013
hits rating: 6/10

Hey guys,
review time again.

Kosi, a singer/songwriter based in New York City, US mailed me her album.
I'm really about this because it actually includes sounds I don't usually listen to - blues and jazz.
It's not that I don't like these genres, it's just that I don't get the chance to listen to them very often.

Photo Sunday: Fujifilm Instax Mini 8

Hey guys,
I guess it's not a secret anymore that I'm completely in love with polaroids.
I've had this addiction for so long .. I remember editing photos so they looked like polaroids but let me tell you - it's just not the same.
So getting a polaroid camera was the plan. And I got one at a flea market but the film was too old and didn't work anymore and I couldn't find a new one anywhere. One hell of a drama.

Giveaway: Jim Kroft album

Hey guys,
oh my applepie it's giveaway time! Again!

This time I'm giving away a copy of Jim Kroft's second album "The Hermit & The Hedonist".
It's my favourite album of the three Jim released so far and that's a good reason to share it with you, right?

Also it's Christmas soon. That might be a good reason too!

To enter the giveaway here's what I'd like you to do:

Spotlight On: Winter In Toronto

Hey guys,
 discovering new and great music is one of my favourite things to do.
Sharing my discoveries with you is another one. 

And that's why I'm doing a spotlight on today.

Winter In Toronto is an acoustic and folk duo from London, England.
The guys behind it are Cameron Pickard and Ellis Mizen.

Album Review: "Midnight Memories" by One Direction

Band: One Direction
Title: Midnight Memories
Genre: Pop
Label: Syco Music/Sony Music
Release: 25th November 2013
hits rating: 7/10

Hey guys,
well what can I say? Today is probably the day some of you are going to start disliking me for reviewing a very mainstream album.

But I got this CD in the mail and what is in the mail is going to be on the blog. (Unwritten hits rule!)
One Direction - pretty much one of the biggest bands right now - just released their third studio album called "Midnight Memories".
Starting out on the British XFactor as five individuals the boys got thrown together by Simon Cowell (or was it Nicole Scherzinger? We'll never know!) and so the band was born.

Giveaway Winner + I'm a DJ!

 Hey guys,
what a headline, right?

Ok so let's get you informed.

The SPS giveaway is ending today and I'd like to thank everyone who joined! I especially loved the instagram photos! Thanks! :)

But there can only be one winner and it is:

Monthly round up: November

Hey guys,
and with that November is pretty much over. Crazy!
You really start to realize how quick months pass when you do these monthly round ups.

Just looking at my little list of articles which went online this month makes me happy.
The big things were all produced in October but sharing them this month was the big fun.

And again things went very well and I had a pretty great November with you.  

EP Review: 'fünfkommafünf Lieder' by byebye

 Band: byebye
Title: fünfkommafünf Lieder
Genre: Acoustic Pop
Label: unsigned
Release: 2012
hits rating: 9/10

Hey guys,
don't worry - you are not drunk - the title of today's review is German. ;-)

The band byebye contacted me and ask for a review on Albumcheck. (You probably know that I'm a contributer for this amazing webzine.)
Of course I agreed and got two CDs - the album I reviewed for Albumcheck and another EP which I decided to take for house in the sand.

Spotlight On: Permanent Ability

Hey guys,
today I'd love to introduce a very special band to you.

Permanent Ability, a funk-rock/alternative band from the sunny side of the globe, Los Angeles.

Photo Sunday: Social Print Studio (+Giveaway!)

Hey guys,
I love printed pictures.
I really do.
It's just so much cooler to hold them in your hands instead of only have them saved on your computer. 

It just seems a bit more 'real' to me.

And that's why I love finding new services that print your pictures in cool ways.
Last Photo Sunday I introduced 'PhotoLove' to you, a service which prints your pictures as polaroids. 

This week the wonderful Social Print Studio team offered me 48 of their mini prints from

Playlist: editor's choice

Hey guys,
it's been a while since I last did something on a more personal level.
Don't worry, I'm not going to tell you about my problems or anything, I'm just going to share what's on my playlist. :)

I hope you enjoy!

Interview: Kiirstin Marilyn

Hey guys,
the absolutely lovely (and beautiful!) Kiirstin Marilyn took some time to answer my questions and I can't wait to share the interview with you.

But first of all - who is Kiirstin Marilyn? 

Kiirstin is an independent artist from New York City and she's always been involved in music things.
So far Kiirstin released an EP called 'Something To Die For' in March 2012. 

With her newest single "The Struggle" she's ready to catch your attention with her expressive voice, different influences and a lot of genres blended together.
Watch out - you are going to love her!

Get ready to learn more about her musical background and find out what she says about giggles on stage, mosh pits and a lot more!

Get To Know: Cold Summer

Hey guys,
it's been a while since the last Get To Know post. But today the lads from Cold Summer are here to introduce themselves.

I am pretty sure the rock music lovers here are going to love them. So read ahead and enjoy.

Who are you?
We're Cold Summer based in Leeds / Wakefield area of England. Dan (Feast) sings, we have two Chris's! Chris (Harrison) plays guitar and Chris (Hepworth) plays bass, I'm Justin (Eastwood) and I play drums.

HITS exclusive: "My Dog Don't Like The Rain" by Martin and James

Hey guys,
I am really excited about what I can present you today.

You probably remember Martin and James going on tour being all over the news. (Nice song reference!)
Well at least I tweeted and facebooked and blogged about it.

Maybe you even remember the interview I've done with Martin, James and their support act Jim Kroft. 

If not ... you should watch it! Here.

And before we've done that interview the good guys gave me a look on what soundcheck looks like. It's a lot of fun!

And then they kind of surprised me with an exclusive performance for house in the sand.

But have a look yourself. : )

Interview: Hey Bulldog

Hey guys,
 I recently chatted with Rob from Hey Bulldog, a three piece band from Manchester, England.
Inspired by one of the biggest bands, The Beatles, the guys play a mix of psych and rock'n'roll.

Hey Bulldog are:
Rob Manton (guitar, vocals)

Matt Parry (bass, vocals)
Ben Howarth-Lees (drums

Get to know the guys a bit better and find out their dogs, their EP, recording and a lot more. 

Album Review: 'Glacia' by Western Jaguar

Artist: Western Jaguar
Title: Glacia
Indie-Rock, Alternative
Label: unsigned
19th September 2013
hits rating: 7/10
Hey guys,
Western Jaguar is Jeffrey Trainor's music project.
The musician from Mission, British Columbia (Canada) released his debut album 'Glacia' just a few months ago.

And I got the pleasure to review it for you. So here we go!

EP Review: 'Topanga' by Decoded

 Band: Decoded
Title: Topanga
Genre: Rock, Soul
Label: unsigned
Release: 12th November 2013
hits rating: 7/10

Hey guys,
get your air guitars out - we need to rock!

Yes, today I have a very rock based EP review for you.
By the band Decoded from Los Angeles. Called 'Topanga'. It's pure rock.

Decoded are:
Derek Jordan (vocals, guitar)
Heather Miller (drums)
Tarah Carpenter (bass, backing vocals)

And their EP is out today! 

Photo Sunday: PhotoLove

Hey guys,
I think you all know how much I love getting to know YOU, my beautiful audience, better. 

Thanks to Twitter and Facebook things are a lot easier and I was lucky enough to chat with tons of you so far.
Besides that passion for music we all share, a big amount of you also loves photography. And so do I. 

And that is the reason why I now present you 'Photo Sunday' - a new segment where I try to entertain you with photography based information.

Album review: 'Avril Lavigne' by Avril Lavigne

Artist: Avril Lavigne
Title: Avril Lavigne
Genre: Pop-Rock
Label: Sony Music
Release: 1st November 2013
hits rating: 6/10

Hey guys,
as I told you I'm working quite hard right now to get house in the sand a bit bigger so I now also accept bigger artists to review.
I hope you accept that decision and are looking forward to see where this is going. :)

So today I got Avril Lavigne's new record, which is her fifth but first selftitled album.

Recorded and produced in Hollywood's Henson Studios with the help of husband Chad Kroeger, Martin Johnson (worked with Taylor Swift) and David Hodges (Kelly Clarkson, Christina Perri). 

The HITS Playlist: part 5

Hey guys,
yup - it's that time of the month where you get 13 great songs at once.

The songs are by artists that have been featured on house in the sand and are now playlisted.
I hope you enjoy!

Interview: Tyler Ward

Hey guys,
I'm pretty sure that most of you already know the name Tyler Ward and also know what he's known for.
Tyler Ward is a singer/songwriter from Denver, US who started to upload videos of cover songs and originals on YouTube in 2008 and soon became a sensation.

With his talent, passion and the support of his fans he's achieved a lot so far:

He toured America and Europe, got signed and released his debut album.

To find out what Tyler told me about his album, editing videos and more, read the interview.  He even shared his tour bus essentials. You should not miss this!

(click the soundcloud audios to hear Tyler answer the a few questions)

EP Review: 'Heavy Eyelids' by Shoot The Rabbit

Band: Shoot The Rabbit
Title: Heavy Eyelids
Genre: indie, rock
Label: unsigned
25th November 2013
hits rating: 9/10

Hey guys,
the good guys of Shoot The Rabbit have released teir new EP called 'Heavy Eyelids'.
Compared with huge names like Radiohead, Arctic Monkeys and The Cure, the indie band from North Wales, UK still has a very own sound.

Shoot The Rabbit are:
David Bullough (lead guitar, vocals)
Rhodri Davies (drums)
Matt Norton (bass)
Adam Taylor (rhythm guitar)

Video interview: Jim Kroft & Martin and James ...a very Scottish decision.

Hey guys,
last week I met up with Martin, James and Jim for an interview.
And I think it's safe to say that none of us exactly knew what was going to happen.

They didn't know what kind of questions I'd ask and I didn't know they would turn this into some serious kind of debating round.

But have a look yourself!

Monthly round-up: October

Hey guys,
last month I started the monthly round-up series and got really nice feedback from you.
Thanks for that! :)

Due to that I'm definitely going to write a post about what happened in October.
I must say this month has been crazily busy - I wrote about 20 reviews in 14 days, roadtripped through the country and met some really wonderful people.

A few incredible things happened behind the scenes which means they'll be online in November.
Starting tomorrow. ;)

I hope you enjoy this reflection.

EP Review: 'Sundial' by Ben Barritt

 Artist: Ben Barritt
Title: Sundial
Genre: Acoustic, Folk
Label: unsigned
Release: 19th April 2013
hits rating: 9/10

 Hey guys,
Ben Barritt is a singer/songwriter from London, residing in Berlin.

I remember when I first saw him playing guitar in May 2012 during the JK headline tour I was already really impressed.

Shame it took about a year to finally get in touch and get this wonderful EP.

Needless to say I'm really excited to review his EP 'Sundial' for you now. 

Album Review: 'Honestly' by Tyler Ward (Bonus Edition)

Artist: Tyler Ward
Title: Honestly
Genre: Pop
Label: Sony Music
Release: 18th October 2013
hits rating: 8/10

Hey guys,
if you're familar with YouTube you probably have heard the name Tyler Ward.

He's a singer/songwriter from Denver (US) who started out by putting cover songs on YouTube in 2008.
Since then Tyler built an incredible fan base all over the world making it possible for him to tour through the US and Europe.

Now he's here with his debut album 'Honestly' and of course I'm here to review it.

Concert Review: Martin and James | Universum Club, Stuttgart - 24th Oct 2013

Main Act: Martin and James
Tour: Life's A Show Tour (with band)
Support Act: Jim Kroft (acoustic)
Date: 24th October 2013
Venue: Universum Club, Stuttgart
hits rating: sorry, they broke the scale/10

Hey guys,
I again was lucky enough to see my three favourite musicians on stage.
Yes, I visited another Martin and James concert where Jim Kroft was opening. 

Interview: elias (part 2)

Hey guys,
today I present you part 2 of my interview with the German band elias.
Again there's going to be the 'original' version in the beginning and you'll find a translation if you scroll down. 

If you haven't seen part 1 yet, hurry up and do it!
Click heeeeeeeeere.

So Leute, jetzt nochmal auf Deutsch.
Heute gibt's Teil 2 des Interviews mit elias, die Links der Jungs findet ihr wieder nach der Übersetzung.

Wer Teil 1 noch nicht gelesen hat, sollte das ganz schnell nachholen!
Klickt hiiiiiiier.

Interview: elias (part 1)

Hey guys,
today I've got some quite different content for you.
Yeah, it's an interview but in German.
But don't worry, if you scroll down you'll find a translation. ;)

Hallo Leute,
ich werde wohl immer eine Weile brauchen, mich auf's Deutsch schreiben umzustellen,
aber gut.
Letzte Woche war ich in Berlin und habe dort Elias, Max und Adrian von der Band elias zum Interview getroffen.

Get To Know: The Assist

Hey guys,
the very cool guys of The Assist gave house in the sand a quick visit and answered some questions so you can get to know them.
Enjoy! : )

Who are you?
We are a 4 piece indie/alternative band from Walsall.
The lads are Mikey Stanton on Vocals, Ryan Stanton on Guitar, Jak Baker on Bass and Ben Faulkner on drums

Instagram, please save me.

Hey guys,
I have to be honest with you: I forgot to prepare a post for today.
Normally things like this don't happen but apparently I'm just human and I make mistakes.

All posts I'm currently working on take an awful amount of time to finish so there's nothing I could show you today - 

except: some pictures.
Instagram pictures to be exact.

I quite like this app and I love sharing random photos so here are some.

Again, I hope you can forgive me for not preparing anything. I guess the upcoming content will be worth today's mess. :)

Concert: Martin and James | Magnet Club, Berlin - 17th Oct 2013

Main Act: Martin and James
Tour: Life's A Show Tour (with band)
Support Act: Jim Kroft (with Ben Barritt)
Date: 17th October 2013
Venue: Magnet Club, Berlin
hits rating: 10000000/10

Hey guys,

 I returned home from a two day trip from Berlin to interview the band Elias (online soon) and see Martin and James in concert. 

Of course I took pictures and even filmed (yay me!) so I'm going to share all of this amazing stuff with you.

EP Review: 'Look.See.Don't.Trip' by Kismet Ryding

Band: Kismet Ryding
Title: Look.See.Don't.Trip
Genre: Rock
Label: unsigned
Release: 14th October 2013
hits rating: 9/10

Hey guys,
Kismet Ryding, a psychedelic garage rock band from Grisby (UK) just released their new EP 'Look.See.Don't.Trip'.

The band formed in 2009 after a party in the Humphreys kitchen. Starting in the kitchen the guys have taken a good walk and manage it to be played on a handful radio stations and are loved by the blogosphere.

Album Review: 'Two Birds, One Stone Later' by NARCS

Title: Two Birds, One Stone Later
Genre: Alternative Rock
Label: Clue Records
Release: 2nd September 2013
hits rating: 8/10

Hey guys,
NARCS, the four-piece band from Leeds (UK) released their debut album 'Two Birds, One Stone Later' in September.
The band had several plays on radio and managed to record it within two days.

NARCS are:
Wilko (vocals, guitar)
Joe (guitar, vocals)
John (bass, vocals)
Stanley (drums, vocals)

The HITS Playlist: part 4

Hey guys,
as you can probably tell by having a look at the topic - it's house in the sand playlist time.

The hits playlist consists of all the artists that have been featured so far.
As quite a few artists have visited the little house it's split off into multiple parts.

Here's part 4:

Album Review: 'Yellow Lorry' by Andrew Ferris

 Artist: Andrew Ferris
Title: Yellow Lorry
Genre: Folk,
Label: unsigned
Release: 8th October 2013
hits rating: 8/10

Hey guys,
the record I'm reviewing today got released after a Google hangout concert which was visited by 200 people.
Those words speak a lot, don't they?
Andrew Ferris just released his album 'Yellow Lorry' and asked me to review it. Of course I didn't say no to an offer like that.
Andrew is a singer/songwriter from the United Kingdom who's currently living in Austria.
1) Smile
2) Moving On
3) Lost At Sea
4) The Little Things
5) Little Bird
6) The Fall Of Man
7) Faster Than The Leaves
8) Something Changed
9) The Remainder

EP Review: 'Sea Of Yards' by Greg McEvoy

Artist: Greg McEvoy
Title: Sea Of Yards
Genre: Folk-Rock
Release: 17th September 2013
hits rating:

Hey guys,
today I'm happy to share my review of Greg McEvoy's EP 'Sea Of Yards' with you.
Greg is a singer/songwriter from Toronto (Canada) and you could define his music is folk rock.

1) Someone Who's Around
2) The Words In My Head
3) Alone In The Fire
4) Forever
5) Fear Of Love
6) All This Time
7) Kerouac

Interview: Ben Barritt

"Hey Ben."
"Can I have the set list, please?"
"Thanks, I'll buy your EP now."
"Oh, that's how it works?!"

And that's how I got into a little conversation with Ben Barritt.
And guess what? That conversation turned into an interview!

I'm really excited for you to get to know the singer/songwriter and guitarist (amazing guitarist!). 
So stay tuned to see what Ben tells us about starting out as a musician, John Mayer's lyrics, Jim Kroft and a lot more...