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.

EP Review: "Camden" by Jess Kemp

Hey guys!

Within the four years of running this website, I've had the chance to travel around for different occations.
So far I've seen a lot of different cities and I've learned a lot about the music scene in each city.
It's so interesting to see differences in when it comes to the crowds, the venues and most importantly, the musicians.

Up until this day my two favourite cities for live music are Berlin (GER) and Manchester (UK).
If you ever get to visit any of the cities, make sure to check out the music scene there.

To make it a bit easier for you, I'm very excited to introduce you to Jess Kemp today!
This Manchester based musician is one you should definitely know about.

Artist: Jess Kemp
Title: Camden
Genre: Acoustic, Pop
Label: independent
Release: 29th April 2016
HITS rating: 8/10

Jess Kemp is a singer/songwriter from Manchester, UK.
Her sound marches into the Acoustic direction with light sprinkles of Folk and Pop.

With influences such as Amy MacDonald, Alanis Morisette and Hayley Williams, it's no surprise that her songs carry attitude, tell stories and are relatable.

Jess' talent and her work ethic has brought a several airplays on shows such as BBC Introducing.
Earlier this year she performed her song "Stars" for our fourth birthday, watch the video.

And now she's here with her brand new EP "Camden" which the young musician recorded over the course of the last year.

1) Camden
2) Killer Shoes
3) Stay
4) Stars

Opener and title song "Camden" welcomes you with the warm sound of Jess' voice, accompanied by a steady but persistent drum beat and the trusty acoustic guitar.
Highlighted sections in the choruses turn the song into more than just your average acoustic pop track.
Jess makes it pretty obvious that she's a talented and clever songwriter. 

"Killer Shoes" - one word to describe the song? Sassy! 
Jess leads you through this track with so much attitude, so much energy. The vivid and storytelling lyrics allow the listener to become a part of the song.
With a swinging rhythm and a foot stomping drum beat, the song has a very folky feel to it.

With her current single "Stars", Jess Kemp gives the listener a good impression of what she's capable of; honest lyrics, great guitar playing, her unique voice and a clever usage of the rhythm elements. 

To sum it up: Jess Kemp might be a new name to you, but you should definitely keep this lady on your radar!
Her way of writing honest and relatable acoustic pop songs with a lot of folky charm, is super refreshing. The "Camden" EP invites you with a big smile and makes you want to stay for more.

You should listen to these tracks: Camden, Stars

Jess Kemp online: Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Text: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image & Video: Jess Kemp

Festival Excitement: Southside 2016

Hey guys! 

Festival season is right around the corner and I'm sure a lot of you are at least attenting one festival this Summer.
To celebrate the beauty of this season a bit more, I've decided to run this segment to share which acts I'd watch at a certain festival.

We'll start off with Southside Festival (which is the twin of Hurricane, so practically this counts for both festivals).

The amazing Southside Festival takes place in Neuhausen Ob Eck, Germany.
It's been running for years and if you take a look at the lineup, you'll know why.
The massive variety of acts just wins, you can't deny it.

Check out Southside here: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Now here's my little selection of musicians I'd love to see at Southside:

Of course we would go and see James Bay.
I mean, come on, who wouldn't? His music just works everywhere - in your car, played on your record player on a Sunday morning, in intimate venues and on festival stages.
The full band sound gives his tunes so much grip and energy, definitely making him a festival favourite.

If I told you that I was recommended to listen to Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls by a 65 years old lady at a Martin and James gig, how would you react?
Well, I went home and checked out some tunes. And to be honest - I think one has a bloody good time listening to them livem especially at a big festival.
SO much energy!

Yes, I'm one of those annoying people that like to point out that they knew about an artist before they became big.
So, yeah, I've been following Tom Odell for a good while now, had the chance to see him live twice and was blown away each time. This guy and his band have so much passion and it's beautiful! Odell is definitely a festival must see!
(p.s.: I have a photo of Tom and myself in which we both look like potatoes. That's definitely one thing I can't wait to share with my grandchildren.)

Everyone who has to spend some time with me right now, knows that I'm slightly (very) obsessed with Jack Garratt's music.
 I'm completely impressed by the way he creates an amazing sound using drums, keys and guitars (mostly at the same time). And I'm absolutely fascinated by his skills. Whilst a lot of musicians only concentrate on one instrument, this lad kills it on three!
I don't care where he plays, but lord I need to see this live! And so do you, so check him out!!

Okay, writing this bit about Jack Garratt just really got to me. Writing can be so intense when you try not to freak out about a guitar solo.
To calm myself down, and to calm down at a festival, I highly recommend catching Jamie Lawson's set at the festival. Jamie is a friend of house in the sand and we're pretty lucky to say that.
His music is so vivid, so charming and so personal - which is such a great combination for some relaxed time in the sun. Go and wear your flower crowns for this!

Upbeat tracks, acoustic guitars with folky rhythms which are too rock influenced to be pop.
Yep, that's what I call a festival banger!
One thing I adore about festivals is when the entire crowd sings along, so we definitely need some catchy yet absolutely clever tracks. I feel like X Ambassadors are that kind of band that make a festival memorable. Just check out the performance below, it's amazing.

In my opinion, Highasakite are that band you'd like to see when the sunset is at its' most intense state.
Their dreamy sound would mix so well with the beautiful colours of a sunset.
Now that the scene is set, close your eyes and take it all in.

Sony Music introduced me to this amazing artist and I hope that I can introduce some of you to him.
Kelvin Jones is definitely not your average singer/songwriter, he's a bluesy, folky, reggae and pop influenced artist. His warm and calming voice is going to embrace you like a lovely hug.
(I probably just made this cheesier than I should've. Sorry.)

Alright now! So this is the list of acts HITS would LOVE to see at Southside 2016.

Let us know if you're going and who you're looking forward to seeing live.
Happy festival season!

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Text: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image: Southside 2016 // Videos: via YouTube

HITS exclusive: "This Is The Moment" by Chris Pate

Hey guys! 

Creating content for HITS has given me so many amazing opportunities.
And I definitely enjoy everything "new" that's happening; it's so excited to meet new people, create new segments and so on.

But sometimes it's just lovely to work with familiar faces - you know, the people you call friends. 
Whenever my Scouse mate Chris is on the road in Germany, I'm usually armed with a my camera and some food to join him on the road.

Just a hour before his previous Germany gig at Riffelhof in Burgrieden, we shot a little live performance.

Who is Chris Pate though?
His friends will introduce him as a “music making mad man”, his fans will tell you how incredible his music is and critics will point out what Chris Pate stands for: honest, storytelling and often critical lyrics, expressive and dominant vocals and controlling instrumentals.

Chris Pate is that kind of musician who will walk into a room, spot a guitar and immediately pick it up to jam away.

He’s passionate and has always been; the musician started playing the guitar at the age of 14, with Nirvana’s ‘Come As You Are’ being the first song the left handed guitarist learnt to play.

Besides Nirvana, Led Zeppelin and Oasis, Chris’ music is influenced by a wide range of acts. Growing up in the Liverpool area, Pate proves one stereo type: the love for the Beatles.

Knowing that Chris Pate has been into music for many years now, it won’t surprise you when you find out that eight years of his music life were spent as front man of Liverpool based rock band The Arkanes. Together with his band mates, Chris regularly toured Germany, Switzerland and Austria building a loyal fan base by putting on energetic live shows. 

The band broke up in Summer 2015, but Chris never lost his passion for music.
So now he's writing, recording and touring pretty much all the time.

Now go on and check out Chris' performance of his song "This Is The Moment".

Chris Pate online: Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | Bandcamp | YouTube | Instagram

Thank you for your visit! 

Credits // Text, Image & Video: Vanessa Jertschewske

Video Interview: Gavin James

Hey guys!

Before you read this post, I'd like to set the scene.
Imagine being in the studio for 18 hours, then going to bed for 2,5 hours.
Then do another 19 hours session in the studio, then go to bed for another 2,5 hours.

And finally, head out to film an interview with Gavin James!

Well, that's exactly what my schedule looked like when I was in Berlin.
It's a bit crazy but to be honest, that's how I like it.

Just like this work trip to Berlin was a bit of a blur for me,
Gavin James' career has taken off within the last year and must have turned into a bit of a blur for him.

Gavin James is a singer/songwriter from Dublin, Ireland.
The young musician discovered his love for music during his time at school and hasn't stopped ever since.

He's come a long way since then and has probably lost count on the many gigs he's played this far.
Let's mention some highlights though; Gavin supported his friend Ed Sheeran at Dublin's Croke Park, he spent the summer touring with Sam Smith and opened the show for Taylor Swift at Hyde Park.

What makes Gavin's music stand out is the way he combines honest and thoughtful lyrics with gorgeously enchanting melodies. 
The clever arrangements showcase the singer's voice in a very flattering way. 

But to be honest, with his voice even the world's most boring song would sound great.

As we sat down, we had a little chat about live crowds, playing new songs to his dad, Gavin's dream festival lineup and a lot more.


Listen to Gavin's beautiful performance of his song "Nervous", filmed by Christian Tierney.

Gavin James online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram

I'd like to say a big thank you to Peter for arranging the interview,
to Monika for the super lovely chat and coffee
and of course to Gavin for the wonderfully entertaining interview!
What a pleasure!

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Text, Image & Video: Vanessa Jertschewske | Performance video: Christian Tierney via YouTube

Behind The Song: "Wrong Time" by Keeva

Hey guys!


You all know that house in the sand aspires to be more than just a norma music blog.
We want to bring the readers closer to the artists - and the artists closer to the readers.

We're always working on new content and new segments to make this website even cozier and more personal.
And I'm very happy to present you a new feature today, which I decided to name "Behind The Song".

Whenever you see that title pop out, expect a personal piece written by the artist/the band who wrote said song.

This feature will be kicked off by one of HITS' favourites, Keeva.

The singer/songwriter from London, UK has an incredibly warm and souly voice and of course, a brilliant writing style.
Her sound can be described as Acoustic, Folk mixed with Soul.

Besides her being an up and coming artist herself she has also co-written with some hit makers from the US and the UK.
  Keeva has received support from BBC Radio 2 presenters Simon Mayo and Bob Harris who have featured her music on their shows.

Read more about the story behind Keeva's new track "Wrong Time" below:

"Wrong Time" was written in a time of my life where I met someone who ticked all the relevant boxes but I wasn't ready to commit to a possible heartbreak again. It's almost an apology to the great guy I let down. 

 I wrote the song in about 40 minutes, refining the bridge a few days later. 
Sat on my bedroom floor on New Years Day at around 3pm. Honestly, it was one of those rare moments in which I can't remember writing it - all the words came out quite fluidly and I said everything I needed to say in a few minutes (best feeling ever) I quickly recorded a voice memo of it and sent it to the people who's opinions I respect the most (they all seemed to like it, yay).

The video shoot was a lot of fun, shot in my favourite venue The Tooting Tram and Social alongside my friends Simon Waldock, Tom Clarke and the fab Harry Hudson-Taylor on guitar.
 I wanted to create something which seemed classic and as if it was from the 60s and I think Simon really captured that. "Wrong Time" is one of my most honest songs and I'm delighted to be able to share it with others.

Watch the video for "Wrong Time" here:

Thank you for your visit! 

Credits // Text intro: Vanessa Jertschewske | Text, Image & Video: Keeva 

Song Of The Day: "You Are The Centre Of Me" by Ivy Nations

Hey guys!

Last weekend I was in the studio with a very dear friend of mine.
I'll tell you more about that next week, but I wanted to bring this up in the intro because at one point there was this massive group of people working their behinds off, to create something amazing.

There were many things about that session which filled me with a lot of joy,
but the one thing I adored the most was the fact that people working together will always be the most powerful thing on the planet.

With that in mind, I'm super excited to publish today's post.
It's written by Adam Reeve, one of our super duper talented writers on house in the sand.

So ladies and gents, please meet Adam! :)

Before you read his brilliant review, please check out Adam on the line:
Blog | Twitter | Facebook

Here's Adam's review of Ivy Nations new track, "You Are The Centre Of Me". 

Ivy Nations are a four piece band from Dublin, Ireland.
Having formed in January 2015, these guys have gained a knack for producing material that offers a lot of reasons to get intom them: danceable grooves, thunderous displays of guitar-driven ferocity and some pretty simple pop hooks that sink right into your face.
It's a formula that perfectly complements the otherwise tense lyrical content about a pretty domineering relationship but does make for a more-convoluted and interesting listen.

Please note that this song is also a good way of teaching others not to revolve your life around a certain somebody. It's a good lesson to learn, that's why I revolve mind around pizza.

Boasting a strong display of playing the drums, "You Are The Centre Of Me" kicks in right away with a beat that heads right for the hips. A simple synthesiser riff is paired up with some synthetic drums to emit a sound that appear to have just come out of the 80's. This old school feel is then accompanied by a scratchy but catchy guitar part that adds a little texture and a little extra swing into the airwaves, almost certainlymaking you bust out your best Funky Chicken.

Ivy Nations continue this impressive performance by delivering a chorus that simultaneously screams a big F YOU to a douchebag while also keeping it with the upbeat vibes of the song.
Nice work guys.

"You Are the Centre of Me" is a great track from Ivy Nations. For a band so young into their career, they've certainly found all the tools to get me dancing heavily at the very least (which doesn't take a lot to be fair).
Their second single is bouncy, full of passion and groove and yet, it's a great way to let out all your steam via your feet and your hips.
Shake that anger away girl, this is great.

Ivy Nations online: Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Text: Adam Reeve | Image & Sound: Ivy Nations

Audio Interview: Rhodes

Hey guys!

The one thing I love the most about interviewing people is the fact that I get to chat to someone about something they are passionate about.

Learning about how musicians approach their art and how they handle their spot in the industry, is truly fascinating.
And I'm very happy that I always have the chance to share conversations with the house in the sand readers, in order to bring you closer to your favourite acts.

A little while ago I had the pleasure of chatting to the very talented and very lovely Rhodes.

Rhodes is a musician originally from Baldock, UK, now based in London, UK.
His music marches on the fine line between Alternative and Pop/Rock.

The young singer/songwriter's music started to spread when his song "Always" made it onto BBC Radio 1's playlist early 2013.

Once the music was "out there", so was Rhodes himself.
Armed with a guitar and a voice that will leave you speechless, Rhodes made his way onto the festival stages of Glastonbury, Radio 1's Big Weekend and many more.
Supporting acts suchs as London Grammar, Sam Smith and Hozier, made Rhodes gain a loyal and well deserved fanbase.

If you spend some time watching his performances, you'll realise that this musician was meant to be on stage and perform his songs for the audiences.

EP: Raise Your Love (2013)
EP: Morning (2014)
Album: Wishes (2015)

When Rhodes called me for this interview, we had a little chat his favourite guitar gear, being on tour, what Hozier taught him and a lot more.
Rhodes might be one of the most passionate people I've spoken to in a while.

Listen to our conversation below:

Listen to Rhodes here:

Rhodes online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram

Massive thank you to Rhodes for being super lovely to chat to and for making sure the interview was going to happen. 
Also many thanks to Sony Music GER for organising the interview.

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Text & Audio file: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image: Jack Davison via Sony Music | Video: Mahogany Sessions via YouTube