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.

Playlist: 2015 favourites (so far)

Hey guys!

It's been a while since I last threw a playlist together.

I live on certain playlists and have about twelve of them on my iPod. I enjoy having lists of music because you can create them for whatever mood you're in.

The title of this playlist is a bit confusing, it sounds like the playlist consists of songs which have been released this year, but it's not.
This playlist is about acts I've been loving in 2015 so far.
 Some of them have been part of my playlists for years, some are acts I just found out about this year.
But all of them have written incredible songs which I enjoy listening to regularly.

Here they are, below is a little commentary for each song:

"Work Song" by Hozier
I've been listening (and loving) Hozier for a lot longer than just this year. There's something about the way he arranges his songs from the backing vocals to the riffs. And yeah, let's not forget about his incredible voice!

"Big Bad World" by Kodaline
I was introduced to Kodaline ealier this year when I got asked to interview them. I quickly became a fan of their sound and still can't get enough of both of their albums.

"Sirens" by Stephen Langstaff
Stephen performed this song for our Birthday Countdown and blew us all away with it. Of course we need it on the playlist!

"Northern Lights" by Ryan O'Reilly
A blog reader introduced me to Ryan O'Reilly and I'm very happy about that! Soon after that I got to work with this talented act and the Northern Lights EP is definitely one of my favourites.

"Hey Little Bird (demo)" by Martin Kelly
I knew this guy way before I even started blogging! Martin is a part of the duo Martin and James and like I said, I've been enjoying their music for about 4 years now. His solo project is just as fantastic and I'm excited to see what he's up to.

"Light Up The Dark" by Gabrielle Aplin
Gabrielle Aplin is that kind of musician I can listen to whenever. I feel like she has a song for every situation you can possibly find yourself in. My favourite thing about her is the way she writes, her lyrics are just on point.

"If You Wanna" by The Vaccines
Another band I got to know because I got offered to interview them.
Indie pop at its finest. Infectious instruments, attention grabbing vocals - brilliant combination.

"Dapper (demo)" by Alex Stockley
A song that just makes you get off of your seat and dance the hell out of dancing!
That's the only way I can describe. My writing skills are failing me because I'm busy dancing!

"Your Lips" by Josh Savage
Sometimes it's the emotional songs, the violins and slow guitar riffs that just need to be on repeat. Josh Savage sure knows how to enchant us with a gorgeous tune.

"Ghost" by Winter 1982

Very pleased to be working with the incredibly talented Winter 1982. Quality music which you need on your playlist.

"Called On" by Hudson Taylor
What I love about Hudson Taylor are the harmonies the brothers Harry and Alfie sing oh so well. Another set of fantastic writers of wide range of sounds.

"The Great Doomsday Story" by Jim Kroft
This guy. I'm sure in about 5 years the fantastic Jim Kroft is still going to be on my playlists. His work is just so inspiring and never boring.

"Holocene" by Bon Iver
I first heard this song on a soundtrack and I remember being completely paralyzed by it. I just had to listen from start to finish without doing anything else.

"Boxer" by Ciaran Lavery
Ciaran Lavery treated us with his beautiful EP and "Boxer" really stands out. An artist to watch!
(And to listen to, obviously.)

"Clocks Go Forward" by James Bay
This year I really got attached to James Bay's music. There's something so unique about his sound, he just combines all the beautiful singer/songwriter elements in an exciting way.

And that's my playlist of acts I've been loving in 2015 (so far). I really hope you enjoyed it and found a few songs you're going to put on your playlist.

Feel free to let me know who's on your playlist at the minute!

Thank you for reading!

Credits // Text & Photography: Vanessa Jertschewske // all uploads on soundcloud belong to their rightful owners, this is just a collective playlist

Interview: The Vaccines


 Hey guys!

With the blog growing every day a little more, the variety of acts I get to work with grows as well.
It was during my two weeks of time off when I got an email from Sony Music Germany asking if I was interested in interviewing The Vaccines.

And well, I was interested. So one morning I sat down and got a call from the band's bassist.

The Vaccines are a four piece band from London, England.
Their sound varies but could be classified as indie pop with bits of alternative rock.

The band formed in 2010 and has been making music ever since and quickly got the attention of many music lovers.

The Vaccines are:
Justin Young (lead vocals, guitar)
Freddie Cowan (guitar)
Árni Árnason (bass)
Pete Robertson (drums)

- "What Did You Expect From The Vaccines" (2011)
- "Come Of Age" (2012)
- "English Graffiti" (2015)

Learn more about the band now, as bassist Arni chats us through the recording process of their latest album, his perfect festival bill, making hiphop beats and a love for Taylor Swift.

house in the sand: Hi Arni, it's Vanessa from the music blog house in the sand.

Arni (The Vaccines): Hey, how are you doing?

house in the sand: I'm great, thanks! How are you?

Arni: I'm good, thank you.

HITS: Is it okay for you if we just dive into the interview?

Arni: Yes, of course!

HITS: So you are about to release your new album. Can you tell us a bit about the recording process? How long did it take you to write and record?

Arni: We started writing pretty late 2013, early 2014, but we wrote a lot of stuff that didn't end up on the album. We kind of allowed ourselves to get into it, we went to little houses in the countryside of the UK and sat down and just played music for days and days. And a lot of that process got us to where we ended.
But when we started recording in June 2014 and I think during that session we realised what sound we're after and what we need to do to make this happen. And a lot of music that we wrote for the album actually came out of that session. So in terms of writing actual material it was June until December 2014.
But the process before that was equally important and allowed us to get rid off a lot of shackles we had.

HITS: Yeah, I think sometimes it's good to get things out first, to then concentrate on new things.
Would you also say there are a lot of differences between your new and old material? 

Arni: Yeah, absolutely! I think our new single "Handsome" is quite misleading because it does sound like a classic The Vaccines track but equally I think it gives away a lot of the new production techniques.. With the first album we had a different production, we allowed ourselves to use the studio just like a vehicle. 
 We've always been a quite direct band in terms of writing pop songs and I think that's still the case but the way we arrange them with the sounds we're making now is something we haven't done before.

HITS: I've heard a lot of bands saying trying out new stuff is a bit like leaving your comfort zone. Do you agree with that statement? 

Arni: Yeah, maybe not. I don't know. I think comfort is the worst enemy of creativity. I don't think anyone should have or be in a comfort zone and I don't think we've ever done that.
I really don't think we've ever done that.
Even though with the first and the second record, they both sound like they're from the same band but we've done them completely differently. And with that we're comfortable.

HITS: For you as a bassist, do you remember a key moment where you just felt like "yeah, I really want to do this?", the moment you got into music maybe?

Arni: Oh yeah, absolutely! When I was really young I was the only person who knew how to use a software where you can get beats on. And I used to make beats for the local rappers when I was a teenager.
At some point they had a bass in the shops and I bought that for 50 quid or something and a week later I was on stage playing Nirvana covers and instantly stopped making hiphop beats because playing the bass was what I wanted to do and it was the most fun I've ever had.

HITS: That's really cool and it also shows that you are into a lot of different genres.

Arni: Yeah, absolutely, absolutely! I think the four of us are all massive music fans.

HITS: Would you say there are any musicians you've learned from just by analyzing their way of playing? 

Arni: Yes, absolutely. Not necessarly in terms of playing but I think I've learned from the person, like the people you run into. We've been very lucky to share stages with lots of people that are incredibly inspiring.
So yeah, I think I've learned a very good leason from a lot of those people but none of them ever told me anything. It just happened by looking at it and witnessing what's going on.

HITS: Speaking about bigger acts, it also means you've been on a lot of big stages. You're playing quite a few festivals this year. Is there a song of the new record you look forward to playing live the most?

Arni: Yeah, we're playing a lot of new stuff lately and it's stuff that people haven't heard before and it's been going down very well. I think we're quite excited about playing lots of new stuff.
There's a song called "Dream Lover" which I think is the biggest thing of a very ambitious record we've recorded. And I'm looking forward to seeing how it's going to go down at festivals.

HITS: I guess festivals are also really exciting because some of the people at festivals might not be there to see you. What do you prefer - big festivals like that or intimate venues where people come to just see you?

Arni: It's a very different experience each time. When it's a venue where people come to see you it sort of feels like a celebration because everybody's there for the same reason.
And you are right saying that at festivals you're not necessarly playing for people who want to see you, they might not even know you. And that comes with a challenge and I think we've always really enjoyed convincing people and so far it's always been a lot of fun.
Both are really different things so it's difficult to compare them, so I don't think I can choose really.
But I love both, we've just finished our UK tour last week and it was amazing, but now we're really looking forward to the festivals.

HITS: If you were to put together a festival lineup - who would be on the bill?

Arni: Ermmmm, wow, okay! This is actually an interesting question because over the last four years I've probably been to 120 festivals. And I thought last Summer I had given up and didn't like festivals anymore. And then a friend of mine said "oh come with me, I'm going to this festival called 'End Of The Road'" and I went with him and I had the best weekend of my life. I was really surprised. 
That lineup was pretty much the best.
So for my festival, let's say The Flaming Lips because they're just the best live band in the world. The Gene Clark No Other Band experience, it's basically Gene Clark with lots of musicians playing, it was incredible. White Demin was amazing, so I would have them. tUnE-yArDs are fantastic. I would have a new band called Horror. And a band 999 who are a crazy LA punk hiphop band. 
And I think that's my favourite band bill.

HITS: Sounds amazing! Do you have a guilty pleasure song which is maybe a bit embarrassing?

Arni: I don't really find my music taste particularly embarrassing, I listen to everything. I love Taylor Swift but I'm not embarrassed. I'm really not embarrassed, haha.

HITS: There's no need to be, I just meant those songs where people might give you weird looks when you start jamming to them.

Arni: Yeahhhh, that's true. I'm just going through my playlists to find something.

HITS: It's cool, it's perfectly fine.
To finish this off, which is the first song you'd like someone to hear, who's not familiar with your sound? What do you think - which is the song that really sums up what your band sounds like?

Arni: Currently I'd say "Dream Lover".

HITS: Alright, lovely. That's a great way to end this interview, so thank you so much for taking the time to speak to house in the sand.

Arni: It's my pleasure, thank you!

Many thanks to Arni for answering the questions and the lovely people at Sony for organising the interview.

The Vaccines online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube

Thank you for reading!

Credits // Text & questions: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image: The Vaccines Facebook | Answers: Arni from The Vaccines

Performance Of The Day: "What Did You Do?" by Gabrielle Aplin

Hey guys!

I recently tried to figure out what I need an artist/a band to be like to become my favourite act.
I couldn't really figure it out, but I think the honesty behind their music is what attracts me the most.

If an artist doesn't feel their music, how are you as a listener supposed to?

As a writer myself I know that I need to stand behind what I say to actually say it. My thoughts are what I write down because sharing something only works if you stand behind it.

At least in my opinion.

And today I'd like to share a song with you by an artists who quickly became one of my top five acts,
 Gabrielle Aplin.

Gabrielle Aplin is a singer/songwriter from Bath, England.
To genrefy her you could use acoustic sprinkled with rock and folk elements.

Gabrielle made herself a name by uploading videos on YouTube of her covering songs like 'My Heart' by Paramore or 'The Liar and The Lighter' by You Me At Six.
She didn't mean to upload covers though, it was a friend who told her to upload some music and see what happens.
So far 'Gabby' has played tons of festivals, supported John Mayer on tour and sold quite a few copies of her record and the EPs.
She released her debut album "English Rain" in May 2013.

In honour of her upcoming album "Light Up The Dark", which is available to preorder now, she just released a live performance of her newest song "What Did You Do?".

"What Did You Do?" falls under Gabrielle's folky songs; it's a mid-tempo ballad which mainly focuses on vocals, light percussions, piano and guitar.

The calm beginning gets you into the story the songwriter is tellling you; a person who unexpectedly falls for someone who takes control over their life in a way they're not used to and it scares them - "I think of you wherever I go, oh what did you do to me? [...] I've never felt so lonely alone, I didn't care until you came along."

This story is told in the Aplin manner: the honest lyrics combined with her fragile, yet incredibly expressive vocals, the perfect use of backing vocals and a light instrumentation all fall together so like a puzzle and create this gorgeous song.

The performance was recorded at one of Gabrielle's recent gigs at Wilton's Music Hall in London.

Gabrielle Aplin online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube

Thank you for reading!


Credits // Text: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image & Video: Gabrielle Aplin

Song Of The Day: "Dapper" by Alex Stockley


Hey guys!

I do love those "Song Of The Day" posts a lot.  
They are simple and they manage something, we often just fail to do in life - they focus on the one main thing; in this case a song, a song which should be heard.  

I just love the feeling of being introduced to a song, listening to it, absolutely enjoying it and then being able to share it with a fantastic audience. 

Today's song of the day is by an artists I'm sure a lot of you will remember as he's been featured a couple of times before.

Alex Stockley is musician and producer originally from Ipswich, now based in beautiful London, England.
His sound is influenced by other Brits such as Tom Odell and Ed Sheeran, yet he also gets inspiration from acts from the other side of the pond, Bruno Mars for example.
So you could genrefy him as a pop singer/songwriter. 

Just a few days ago he released a new song called "Dapper" and I just really need to share this with you.

The song is super energetic and grabs your attention right away.
It's a fun, danceable track thanks to the incredibly funky and fun bass line which is very present throughout the entire song.

Alex Stockley's vocals are on point for this song; they vary from strong to soft and high back to slightly raspy and very controlling.
Another part that stands out is the fantastic use of backing vocals, they drive the light atmosphere of the song, yet they manage to give it a bit more grip.

I honestly can't stress enough how you really need to hear this!

Alex Stockley online: Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube

Thank you for reading!

Credits // Text: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image & Video: Alex Stockley

Gig Impressions: Ben Barritt at Stoffel, Frankfurt


Hey guys!

Thursday evening; the sun is still up, people are wearing shorts and dresses, kids are running around, large groups of friends and strangers are sitting down together and are having a few beverages and there's music playing.

Not just music from a radio, but live music on a lovely stage.

Sounds like a gorgeous evening, doesn't it?
Well, it was.

Earlier this week I went on a very spontaneous roadtrip to Frankfurt to see the talented Ben Barritt play.

We've been filming together a couple of times (results can be seen here and here) so I knew photographing him on stage would be a lot of fun.

Ben Barritt is a musician based in Berlin, Germany.

As a guitarist the variety of genres he plays is incredibly wide - from touring with Americana singer/songwriter Erik Penny to touring and recording with indie folk-rock artist Jim Kroft - Ben does it all.

His own sound blends an impressive amount of genres; from soft and calm acoustic tunes, to folky rhythms to souly jazz songs with sprinkles of rock and r'n'b.

Originally being from London, England, a lot of his songs tell stories about the little things at home: walking through the dark streets on the way back from the pub or using the London underground to see the person you love.

A few of those stories can be found on Ben's EP "Sundial", but he's about to share even more of his music on his upcoming debut album "What Would You Like To Leave Behind".

Below are some impressions of Ben playing at Stoffel in Frankfurt am Main.

Since I've been filming with Ben a couple of times, means I've also heard him play before, yet this gig was the first time I actually got to watch him perform on stage.

It was so nice to see the way Ben interacts with the crowd and manages to entertain his listeners in such charming and light manner. With his incredible German he sure impressed everyone.

The setlist was a clever mix of slow ballads and up tempo tracks; whilst the calmer songs invited you to simply listen and think about their meanings, the faster songs asked you to dance and clap along.

Ben's vocals are warm and expressive and very well used to transport the stories he tells. 

Most of the time the acoustic guitar accompanies the vocals, but at times the two instruments seem to duet with eachother.
The way Ben Barritt composes his songs makes them work so well.

The atmosphere at the festival was so lovely.
 Everything took place in a gorgeous park called Güntersburgpark. Little food and drink stands, blankets on the floor, benches in front of the stage - it couldn't have been cuter.

Big up's to the team who organised it with such incredible concept - the entry is free and the prices for food and drinks were absolutely okay.
It's amazing how this event is happening by people donating and sponsoring it.

I guess it's just another proof how much people enjoy get togethers with live music.

It was a pleasure to photograph this gig because, like so many times before, I had every creative freedom I wanted and was able to capture so many lovely moments. 

I really hope you enjoy the impressions!

Many thanks to Ben for the nice evening including surprisingly German catch ups, lots of laughter and tomatoes! It was fantastic!

Now go and have a listen to Ben's music! 

Ben Barritt online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud

Thank you for reading!

More of Ben Barritt on house in the sand: video interview | exclusive performance | ep review

Credits // Text & Photography: Vanessa Jertschewske

EP Premiere: "Ghost" by Winter 1982

Hey guys!

It seems like I've been starting a lot of posts saying "I'm very excited" lately.
Well, I just really am excited about the content I get to produce on here.

Today is quite special though, so the excitement is pretty high.
We've got another premiere on house in the sand.

An EP premiere to be exact.
That means you guys are the first people to listen to the EP, exclusively on house in the sand.

The EP we get to premiere is called "Ghost" and it's by Winter 1982.

Winter 1982 is a project of musician Phil Barber from Birmingham, England.

Influenced by acts such as Ray Lamontagne, Jeff Buckley and Kings Of Leon, Winter 1982's sound could be described as soulful folk with sprinkles of alternative and bits of indie.

house in the sand is a massive fan of the incredible vocals which vary from smooth, soft and warm to smoky and soulful, the meaningful lyrics and the atmospheric instrumentals.

Main man of Winter 1982, Phil took some time to tell us more about the writing and recording process of the "Ghost" EP and even mentioned where he gets his inspiration:

"Ghost is about a lot of things but I think broadly it's about human flaws. It's about depression, loneliness, vulnerability, desperation but also maybe finding a certain beauty in those problems and imperfections. There's a striving for complete happiness in the popular media and online, but we should experience the full spectrum of emotions ; it's very human to not be happy sometimes and it's the lows that give you a reference point for the highs. Life is definitely beautiful but it can be painfully dark too.

The songs came together over the last 8 months really. Some of the songs are autobiographical, or at least personal in a sense, and some of them aren't. Not that I'm not invested in all of them, because I am and I think that's important for a writer, but some of them don't describe my own story, perhaps someone else's. I like music that has depth, I like songwriters that seem like they are giving something up to put it in a song and I've tried to do that I suppose.

I write mostly alone, just on a guitar. I record little things all the time, I have hundreds of little snippets of ideas, some that become songs, some that don't. I have to record them so I don't forget them. It might be a small as the phrasing of a particular word or lyric or an entire melody, but I record them when they come and slowly a song emerges.

Once it's fully formed I've been working with Ryan Pinson at RML studios. That's where we build the songs up from their acoustic form. I take an electric guitar with me with ideas of how to build them up. I like things that are cinematic, brooding and it tends to take that direction. Ryan is an incredible producer, a great drummer too and layed down the drums and percussion on a couple of tracks. He is so easy to work with and brilliant at interpreting what direction you want a song to go in."

And now that you know a lot about the EP, you better go and listen to it.

I am incredibly proud to premiere this EP for you because I know that so many of you are going to love this EP. Keep an eye on Winter 1982, you'll soon see why.

NOTE: Due to blogger and bandcamp not working with each other, please click the title to listen to the songs:

1) Ghost
2) So Slow
3) Friend
4) Sometimes
5) Lost At Sea (bonus track, shows when you buy the EP on bandcamp)

Winter 1982 online: Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | Bandcamp

Thank you for reading!


More Winter 1982 on house in the sand: exclusive performance | song of the day

Credits // Text: Vanessa Jertschewske | co-written text & image: Phil Barber

Album Review: "Springtime For The Flaws" by The Flaws


Hey guys!

Album artworks are lovely things.
 Sometimes they show the artists, sometimes they are drawings, sometimes they are photographs of things.

But in most cases they represent the sound you hear when you listen to the record.

When you look at the artwork above, what do you think the record sounds like?
Indie? Folk? Blues? Maybe something completely different?

Well, let's find out!

Band: The Flaws
Title: Springtime For The Flaws
Genre: Alternative, Indie
Label: Arrival Records
Release: April 2015
HITS rating: 7.5/10

The Flaws are a four piece from the countryside of Ireland.
Their music marches into the alternative direction.

In the band are:
Paul Finn (lead vocals, guitar)
Shane Malone (guitar)
Paul Mallon (backing vocals, bass)
Colin Berrill (drums)

In 2007 things exploded for the band. With their debut album they entered the Irish Top 20, played Glastonbury, Electric Picnic and Oxegen and took a little break afterwards.

Things soon continued with another album and a lineup change within the band. After a while the band went on an open ended break.
Reconvened in 2013, The Flaws continued making music and started writing their latest album ("Springtime For The Flaws") which they recorded themselves to have more creative freedom and full control over their sound.

"Achieving Vagueness" (2007)
"Constant Adventure" (2010)
"Springtime For The Flaws" (2015)

Let's chat about their latest releases, "Springtime For The Flaws", which they sent me a copy of.

1) Going Ariel
2) Blow Your Hair Back
3) That's What You Get
4) Animals
5) Fortunate
6) Disappoint & Go
7) Don't Lie
8) Tryouts
9) Water Riots
10) Shake Your Bones
11) Ourside

The album welcomes you with a track called "Going Ariel", an energetic and quite groovy tune. The indie/alternative sound is very present on this song; it showcases the band's strenghts in such clever manner.

"Animals" is one of the songs that just stand out. 
It stands out because it surprises you in an absolutely enchanting way. It starts off very calm; the focus is on soothing guitar picking and soft vocals. You're prepared for a folky ballad, which it kind of is - yet the chorus wins you over with a powerful instrumentation and beautiful harmonies.

The Flaws don't just do one sound - once you got familiar with their calmer sound, they shake you up with rockier sounds. "Disappoint & Go" is the perfect example for that - the riffs get darker, the rhythm section puts on more pressure and the vocals seem to have more grip on the song than before. Here's your danceable track! 

To sum it up: In my opinion "Springtime For The Flaws" should be called "Springtime For Everyone", simply because the records transports the light and simple atmosphere Springtime brings with it. The instruments and vocals collide together in such effortless way.
It might be Summer now, but a little Spring feeling never hurt nobody!

You should listen to these tracks: Going Ariel, Animals, Disappoint & Go

The Flaws online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube

Thank you for reading!

Credits // Text: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image: The Flaws

HITS on YouTube

Hey guys!

I think one of the main things I love so much about working on house in the sand is the variety it offers.
Not just in genres but also in tasks for me as the editor.

When people ask me what I do, I never go "oh, I'm a journalist". I mean, I am a journalist, but I am also responsible for all the media you see on house in the sand, such as concert photography as well as the video content. 

Even though I never really expected to grow into videography, I find myself working behind and in front of the camera every now and then.
The videos became a part of house in the sand and I'm very happy about that.

We've had some lovely video moments in the past and since there are quite a few more of you reading nowadays, I'd like to share some of my favourite videos with you.

In case you don't want to miss any of the upcoming videos, click here to subscribe (for free, of course).

Let's look at some of the highlights.


November 2013 | Interview: Jim Kroft & Martin and James

Oh my, I think this was easily the funniest interview we've done so far. The quality is terrible and has improved so much, but still this interview is one of my favourites, simply because we had such a good time filming and I think that's quite obvious.

February 2014 | Concert documentary: Martin and James

This was my first "big deal". Martin and James have been so supportive from minute one and never turned down any of my ideas. This will sound cheesy, but it allowed me to grow into what I'm doing, to try out new things and to work with incredibly talented people.
In February I was invited to two of there shows and filmed between load in and the actual show. It was an amazing experience.

February 2014 | Best Of: Birthday Countdown 2014

In February 2014 the Birthday Countdown was born. This project consists of 28 videos throughout the month of February to work towards the blog's birthday. 27 acts performed a song exclusively for house in the sand's birthday and it was absolutely amazing.
This video is a best mashup of all birthday wishes.

March 2014 | Exclusive Performance: Jim Kroft
The absolutely wonderful Mr Kroft took time to perform, film and edit a song for us. This artist has been a massive inspiration for me ever since I first met him, so to have his work on the blog, is an extreme honour. 

May 2014 | Interview: Ben Barritt

I was in Berlin to work with my friends The Arkanes. Since time allowed it, I also met up with Ben Barritt to film an interview together. One thing I've noticed when working with Ben is that we always wander around places to find the perfect spot. And that there are a lot of unintentionally funny moments.

August 2014 | Exclusive Performance: Dan Dietrich

Who would've thought being working as a media person would lead to filming on a farm.
I went to Darmstadt to visit my good friend Dan Dietrich who later that day played a gig which happened to be at a farm.
Together with his mate Julian (and a choir of cows) he performed a beautiful song for us.

October 2014 | Stage Time With: The Arkanes

Another trip to Berlin, another time filming with the lads of The Arkanes. They played a show at SO36 and I followed them from the backstage area onto the stage. Get an idea of what it is like to walk onto a stage in a sold out venue.

November 2014 | Interview: Jamie Lawson

When I go to shows I love doing a bit of research on the support acts before the gig. Jamie Lawson who supported Ed Sheeran on tour caught my attention and so we arranged an interview.
After almost getting lost in the corridors and saying hi to Ed, we chatted about a few interesting topics. 
Little did we know Jamie Lawson would be the first artist to be signed to Ed Sheeran's label.

January 2015 | One Million Special: Outtakes

In December 2014 we hit 1 000 000 page views on house in the sand. What an incredible number! It felt amazing!
Of course I wanted to try and treat you guys with a special video for that occation. The result of that was a compilation of all outtakes and bloopers we had from the videos filmed before. I had such a good time editing all the material into this hilarious video.

February 2015 | Best Of: Birthday Countdown 2015 (performances)

Another year of blogging was over and this blog turned 3 years old. Of course that meant we'd have to celebrate with another edition of the Birthday Countdown.
I have never worked harder on any project and I've also never had more fun working on one. All artists involved made me so proud and were such a pleasure to work with.

April 2015 | Interview: RDGLDGRN

Whilst touring the country with The Arkanes, we had a day off in Berlin.
But a blogger isn't a blogger if day off's aren't used for work!
The offer to interview RDGLDGRN (redgoldgreen) was there and so I went to the Virgin Music office to chat with the band.

July 2015 | Exclusive Performance: Westopher Baker

Our newest addition to the video library was the talented Westopher Baker performing his song "Strange Days" exclusively for the house in the sand audience. Me oh my, this is a tune! 

And that's it for now, but there are going to be more videos coming up soon.

I am so excited to grow into this even more, especially because I know the coolest audience in the world is watching!

I hope you enjoyed this little trip down memory lane and are as excited as I am.

Thank you for reading!

Credits // Text, Image, Videos: Vanessa Jertschewske | certain videos include work of the performing artists

HITS exclusive: "Strange Days" by Westopher Baker

 Hey guys!

Well, we have two options right now:
1) I can play it cool and pretend I'm not really excited
2) I'll just let it out

It's probably pretty obvious that I am that kind of person who's going to let it out.

So, let's just do.

I am absolutely, incredibly, totally excited to announce that our beloved exclusive performances are back.
You know, those features that consist of videos of artists/bands performing their songs exclusively for house in the sand.
We've had some in the past and everyone loved them, so it's about time that we bring them back.
(Overview of previous performances)

Let's find out more about the artists who's performing for us today:

Westopher Baker is a musician and filmmaker from Plymouth, England.
Telling you the exact genre he's playing is a bit of a tough job for me; he mixes folk with blues and adds a good portion of hip hop.

Westopher started playing piano at the age of 8, he then picked up a guitar when he was 14 so he could accompany the lyrics he had written.

Just recently he released an EP called "Waste-man(agement)" which is available on bandcamp, you can find the links below.

I am very excited to show you the exclusive performance Westopher has recorded for us.
He played "Strange Days" off of his EP in his kitchen where he also took a bit of time to chat about the song itself.


Westopher Baker online: Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | Bandcamp

Thank you for reading and watching!


Credits // Text: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image & Video (performance + cut): Westopher Baker | intro music (video): Martin Kelly for house in the sand

Cover Of The Day: "Chandelier" by Stephen Langstaff (Sia)


Hey guys!

The mainstream charts are a tricky thing for me. I never really know how to feel about them.
There are songs where I totally get the hype that's being made about them (hello James Bay!) and there are songs that are hyped but just don't get me.

The very popular song "Chadelier" by Sia didn't quite catch me to be honest. I'm in no way saying it's a bad song, I just didn't find it very special.

Not, until I've heard a brilliant cover version by the very talented Stephen Langstaff.

Stephen Langstaff is a singer/songwriter from Liverpool, England

He writes songs which are genrefied as acoustic pop. They convince with soothing yet expressive vocals, honest and storytelling lyrics and well arranged instrumentals.

His talent speaks for itself, nonetheless some of Stephen's achievements should be mentioned: so far he's supported acts like Lightening Seeds and China Crisis, sold out multiple shows and released his single "Sirens" along with some acoustic versions.
Even BBC Merseyside approves Stephen's sound.

Now, let's speak about his cover of "Chandelier" by Sia.
Stephen recently shared a video of him covering the song. It's an all acoustic version which means it's only Stephen's voice accompanied by light guitar work.

I think it's the simplicity and honesty of his version that absolutely grabbed my attention.
It's the way Stephen made this song his own in such beautiful way.

Have a listen yourself!


Stephen Langstaff online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube

More of Stephen on house in the sand: music video | exclusive performance

Thank you for reading!


Credits // Text: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image & Video: Stephen Langstaff