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.

Behind The Song: "Mirrored Stars" by Taylor James Eary

Hey guys!

I've got a questions for all of you music fans out there:
How many times have you wondered what the exact meaning behind your favourite song is?
The beautiful thing about music is that we can relate to it on personal levels, but isn't interesting to hear what the writer behind it wanted to express with the song?
Or to find out what the writing process of it looked like?

I am a rather curious person, so I definitely wonder about these things a lot.

To make life easier for all of us, I came up with the "Behind The Song" segment where I invite musicians to chat about one of their songs.

Without celebrating my great idea too much, I'd still like to think this feature is a win-win - you first get to discover a song you might not know already and then you also get to learn more about the story behind it.
My my, this is genius.
(Didn't I just sound like the biggest bighead since Kanye?)

Anyway, let's get into today's "Behind The Song".

We have Taylor James Eary over who is going to tell us more about his song 

"Mirrored Stars":

My inspiration for "Mirrored Stars" came after a night out in Southend-on-Sea, Essex which is where I'm from.

The main plot of the song is the idea of an endless night spent with someone. I wrote the song chronologically, starting with the verse which talks about old summer days and memories, as I'm sure everyone has a few to reminisce on. I already had the chords to the song in mind, so it was just a case of writing lyrics over the top.
The lyrics came naturally from my personal experiences and surroundings, which made the process enjoyable as I was looking back at nights out.

I recorded the song at Carey Willetts studio in South East Lodon. Production-wise the song is organic as we kept it very stripped back and consists of a beautiful old Wurlitzer keyboards, acoustic guitar and vocals.

Listen to "Mirrored Stars" below:

Taylor James Eary online: Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud

Enjoyed this feature? Here are more "Behind The Song" stories:
Keeva | Chris Tavener

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Text (intro): Vanessa Jertschewske | Text & Image: Taylor James Eary for house in the sand

48 hours in the studio with: Jim Kroft

Hey guys!

So, as a lot of you know, I was in the studio with the very fantastic Jim Kroft.
He invited me over for his 48hours studio marathon which was part of the Boat For Sara fundraiser.

In case you are not completely familiar with it, please click here to get the necessary background knowledge about it.

Jim Kroft raised more than 19,000€ for an organisation called Proem Aid. The money will be used to buy a boat which will save refugees from drowning in the sea.
He raised the money not by asking people to just give, but by writing and recording an album which people would receive.

In today's post you'll be able to find out more from Jim's point of view and I'm very excited for you to do that.

I gave Jim a few topics I wanted him to chat about. Below you can find out what he had to say about the idea for this album, the most memorable moments, the challenges and a lot more.

- how the idea of recording the album within 48 hours came up -

The idea for the 48hr album came to me when I was on Lesvos. I'd been very moved by my experiences there, and wanted to raise money for one of the wonderful independent rescue teams there, called Proem Aid.
However, I didn't want to spend money raised on musician fees and studio time. Rather I asked the studio and players to donate their time, as their own contribution.
My friends at Blackbird Studios very kindly donated two days. It is such a special studio and I am forever grateful to them.
However, of course, it is a professional studio and two days was all that is possible.
So that meant I had to just got for it and record the whole thing in two days. What an adventure! There were also three songs done simultaneously in London's Urchin Studios.

- differences between the usual album recording session, compared to this one -

Well, this album was all about getting rid of safety nets. Usually there is a lot of reflection and thought and consideration in the recording process. With this is was the opposite. It was about trusting spontaneity, trusting the talent of the musicians, trusting my own ability to deliver under pressure. And of course that is reflected in the music. There are imperfections, there is a rawness. It doesn't sound like other modern albums. But damn, you feel it's alive.
You hear the intensity of the players, the chat before the songs, the dynamics of the band.
It was very refreshing to get over this notion of over perfection. It wasn't about just the album, it was about a bigger cause. But on the other hand I am proud as a musician, and I want to do everything to the best of my ability. So that was the challenge - to trust the spontaneity - but not to lose standards. 

- the most memorable moment of the session -

I think for me it was recording the last song in an hour at 5am on the Sunday night. I had to leave at 6 to get home at 7 because I had to be up at 9 for an interview with Sky News. But I knew that we needed one more song.
 The special thing was that everyone involved came with me on the marathon. There was never a "sorry man, I need to leave" or whatever. Everyone stayed together. And it was really in that moment, at the end of the 48hrs with a couple of hours sleep, that I just felt so grateful for these people, and for the potential that is latent in the world. People do things sometimes for reasons beyong themselves. Sometimes our modern cynical minds seem to lose sight of that potential, that power, that purity, that possibility.

- the most challenging song -

The most challenging song was probably "Sara".
 It has some funny lengths of bars and big dynamics. But the funny thing was that when we actually recorded it, we just "got on one". We just hit this really pure form and it kind of ended up recording itself. To be honest, I have no idea how that happened.
We had only the one day of rehearsal on the Friday for crying out loud!
For me it remains a blur and a little miracle. But it was an education. I realized through the session that sometimes we have to put ourselves on the line, really to go to the edge, to find that space in between the limit of your own potential and what is "God" or the nature, or the highest in us (however you want to call it).
It is really important to challenge our comfort zones. Not all the time though. I like to be a lazy bastard too - that's how you build the energy for greater challenges. #hefeweizenishealthy!

- the song you feel connected to the most -

Hard to say, because all of them have a resonance for me.
I feel really, really proud of this set of songs.
I love how purely "Sara" conveys my emotions of being on that beach and I am proud of how it came out.
I think "God Knows Where" 'sits in the room' with some of the best songs out there. I like the societal ramble of "Despite What anyone Says", the Rock'n'Roll in "House Of Many Colours".
 I like the fact that "Borrow It" was recorded in a shack in Bulgaria and that most of the songs were written in a van.
So yes, I feel proud of it. And I think it's important as an artist to feel proud when you make soemthing. And then to move on and go forward.

- the crew you teamed up with -

There are too many people to mention here - they know who they are, they are on the album and I've written about them on Facebook.
What is more important for me is just to say thank you again to each and everyone. Ultimately this album is an expression of a synergy of energy, love and creativity. I'm blessed for the people I know.

Please check out Jim Kroft's most recent music video for "Shadowlands".

If the video below isn't available for you, head over to vimeo to watch it.

Just a couple of months ago, I sat in the vocal booth whilst Jim recorded this song.
Watching the video below and listening to the final version of the song, is probably one of the most special moments I've had when it comes to music so far.

Jim Kroft online: Website | Twitter | Faceook | YouTube | Instagram

As always, a big thank you to Jim for the inspiration, belief and advice.
And for taking over HITS today. We shall have a #Hefeweizen soon!

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Intro & Photography: Vanessa Jertschewske | Text bits: Jim Kroft for house in the sand

Tea Time: working online

Hey guys!

A few years ago I had a segment on HITS which I named "Tea Time".
It basically labeled the personal chats; the posts that didn't review a piece of music or consisted of an artist answering questions.

It kind of stopped being a regular feature, mainly because I wanted the website to focus on music and photography.

A little while ago I went on a little social media hiatus and decided not to be as online as I usually am.

On Facebook I asked if people were interested in reading about my use of the web and how I keep a balance between working online and being online privately.
Turns out, people were interested.

So ladies and gentlemen, grab a cup of tea (or coffee) and find out how I handle things.
Spoiler: it's probably less exciting than you think.

Alright. Well, my job as a blogger is to create content which I will then put on a website to share it with you - the audience, the readers.
Which means that I spend the time - a thatcher spends working on a roof - working on a computer and sometimes a phone.
That's a lot of time, you say?
Yes, it is.

The time that I have a new post open, ready to type away, doesn't feel like "being online".
Mainly because I don't interact with anyone. All I see is a blank canvas that is ready to be filled with words. It's kind of calming, to be honest.
(Sometimes it's stressful though. Writer's block is a thing.)

But of course, I spend a lot of time on social media platforms, where pretty much everyone else is spending a lot of time as well.

And you are confronted with a lot of people, to say the least.
There are trolls, hateful people, stressful people who need to speak to you and whilst most of the time, that's all bearable - it can get a little overwhelming sometimes. 

How do I keep a balance?
I keep a balance by logging off "mentally" every now and then.
That means I'm not completely throwing my phone and laptop away, I just choose to use it to my pleasure.
Whenever I "zone out" online, I just don't log into any of my work accounts. I leave my email account as it is, and yes, it's possible for a day or two.
Of course people are waiting for replies, but let's be honest - I don't save lives with my job, there is absolutely nothing dramatic going to happen if I don't reply to an email within 24hours.
If I need time off to stay sane and to stay happy, then I will take it.

Whenever I'm not working online, the only people I communicate with online are close friends.
Most of them don't live next door (or closer than 500km near me), so we chat online.
As I don't mind that at all, this is why I don't throw my phone into the next river.
I just do the things I want to do.

On a day to day base, when I'm feeling super alright, I still try to keep a balance.
I usually first check my phone about 30 minutes after waking up. That way, I allow my brain to breathe before the madness starts.

I also don't use my phone when I'm working with my horse, which makes up two hours at least.
So I guess, there's a natural balance in my daily routine already.

What definitely needs to be mentioned - I love the internet and I love the power of social media.
I'm a big fan of technology, therefore the way I handle it is definitely influenced by my opinion about this topic.

I would  love to know what you think about the time we spend online and how you handle it!

Thank you for your visit! 

Credits // Text & Image: Vanessa Jertschewske

Soundcloud Discoveries #1

Hey guys!

New Segment Allert!
I love creating new segments because they keep this website fresh and lively.
They are usually always fun to write and more fun to test out when they make their way onto your screens.

The segment I'm about to introduce to you, "Soundcloud Discoveries", came to life when I was going through music submissions and was listening a song on Soundcloud.
Soundcloud has this fabulous "Related Tracks" feature when you play a song.
It basically recommends songs that march into the direction of what you're currently listening to.

After the song I was reviewing was over, I kept Soundcloud open for a minute and soon a beautiful track started playing. I felt the need to feature it and so the idea for this segment was born.

As always, I hope you'll enjoy, please let me know what you think of "Soundcloud Discoveries".

"Coffee From Kilimanjaro" by Oisín ó Scolaí

I think we all know that feeling when too much is going on and all you want to do is relax.
Whenever the days get a little to crazy, I try to sit down, put my headphones on and listen to music that comforts me. 
Now, I do love Rock music very much, yet it's Acoustic and Folk songs I turn to when I need a little breather.
"Coffee From Kilimanjaro" is definitely right on top of my list.
This song is a beautifully calm and sweet guitar based piece of music. It's the lightness of the guitar and the warmth of Oisín's voice that wrap you up like a cozy blanket would.

Oisín ó Scolaí online: Facebook | Soundcloud

"Top To Toe" by Fenne Lily

What a lot of the people I speak to think about the music and entertainment industry, is how a lot of times things need to be bigger and more exciting. Some songs you'll find in the charts are very over-produced, have so many elements going on.
And that makes peole forget that it doesn't always have to be that way. Sometimes the simplicity of arragements can be the only thing you need.

And I find that the case with Fenne Lily's song "Top To Toe".
It's stripped back to only an acoustic guitar, vocals and gentle backing vocals.
And boy, it's gorgeous. The fragility and melancholy in the singer's voice stand out and transport the honesty of the song.

Fenne Lily online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | Instagram

"These Streets" by Ben Harvey

I'm definitely on the "relaxing songs" train here. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
I would always suggest listening to songs when you have time to focus on them. These songs were written with so much thought and so many details, so it's a shame to not pay your attention to them.

Ben Harvey's "These Streets" is one of those songs that gives us music reviewers all sorts of joy.
The base of the song is very catchy, very attention grabbing, as it's very straight forward.
Soft percussions, soft guitars and very inviting vocals. This song starts off as a very comforting and calming track and then throws some beautiful string arrangements your way, just to deepen the atmosphere.

Ben Harvey online: Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram

And that's that! I hope you enjoyed listening to these amazing tracks as much as I did. 

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Text & Image: Vanessa Jertschewske

Video Interview: Martin Luke Brown

Hey guys!

As an interviewer, you have to decide what kind of interviewer you want to be.
You can either be that really badass-like journalist who asks questions that make the artists/bands sweat, shake and go completely nervous about. You know, the provocative kind of interviewer that actually my journalism teacher told me to be.

Or you can be an absolutely hippie who asks relaxed questions in order to have that kind of conversation you'd have over a cup of tea. Or coffee, if you prefer that.

I've decided to put on the flower crown and be the hippie who asks questions I'd also ask my mates.
So far I don't regret this decision!

I had a lovely and rather funny chat with Martin Luke Brown recently! 

Martin Luke Brown is a singer/songwriter from Leicester, UK.
Genrefying his music is definitely no simple thing to do as Martin combines pop elements with soulful vocals, a folky falsetto and electrifying beats. Maybe we'll settle for Alternative.

The young musician started gigging at the age of 14, uses the keyboard and the guitar on stage and also started working with backing tracks at live shows.

Back in 2014, house in the sand was introduced to Martin Luke Brown's music and we were convinced we'd be able to watch him go and create amazing music.

Martin Luke has released a bunch of songs so far; "Nostalgia", "Scars On Scars" and "Love Me Sober" being his main singles which made him gain a loyal fanbase.

Watch our little chat below in which we spoke about touring with Jack, working on new songs, Chinese syrups and a lot mores. Oh, and Martin sent a very special shoutout to his London mates!


Listen to Martin Luke Brown's recent single "Love Me Sober" below! 

Martin Luke Brown online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram

Thank you to George and Martin for this very lovely noon in Munich! #catcafésarethebest

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Text, Image & Video: Vanessa Jertschewske

Album Review: "Wrong Crowd" by Tom Odell (Deluxe Version)

Hey guys!

I remember how in April 2013 I randomly turned on the TV, only to end up being completely mesmerized by a song that was playing.
It was Tom Odell's "Another Love", the emotional and very intense anthem that pretty much everyone knows nowadays.
I immediately downloaded his "Songs From Another Love" EP and then bought tickets to one of his only German shows at that time.

So in May 2013 I went to Cologne to photograph and watch Tom's show. It didn't take long for me to realise that this artist was going to be one of my favourites.
I also got to have a little chat with him after a show and can confirm that he's super lovely!

You can check out previous Tom Odell features here: Gig 2013 | "Long Way Down" Review | Gig 2014

I'm happy to review his new record for you today.

Artist: Tom Odell
Title: Wrong Crowd
Genre: Alternative
Label: Sony Music
Release: 10th June 2016
HITS rating: 9/10

Tom Odell is a singer/songwriter/piano man originally from Chichester, UK, now based in London.
His sound plays with elements of Rock, Pop and slight bits of Dance. 

The young musician started playing the piano at an early age, then began writing and performing himself.
It was singer Lily Allen who signed Tom to her label and soon the world had the pleasure of watching the talented piano man play his way to the top.

Being the winner of the Brits Critic's Choice in 2013 set the tone for a successful debut album release.
Tom's "Long Way Down" built him a loyal and non-stop growing fanbase all over the world.

After two years of writing and recording, he is now here with his brand new album "Wrong Crowd".

You'll find a review of the Deluxe Version below.

1) Wrong Crowd
2) Magnetised
3) Concrete
4) Constellations
5) Sparrow
6) Still Getting Used To Being On My Own
7) Silhouette
8) Jealousy
9) Daddy
10) Here I Am
11) Somehow
12) She Don't Belong To Me (Deluxe)
13) Mystery (Deluxe)
14) Entertainment (Deluxe)
15) I Thought I Knew What Love Was (Deluxe)

Opener and title track "Wrong Crowd" already allows the listener to get used to a slighty different sound.
If you're familiar with Tom's debut album, you'll find new elements in the track.
The beats are more danceable, they have an electronic vibe to it, they seem darker. 
The song tells the story of being with the "wrong crowd", having bad influences in your life and being very much aware of it.
Given the rather dark atmosphere, it's interesting to hear how Odell mixes mysterious with lively; moody with up-beat.

"Magnetised" takes the new-found dance chords and takes them to another level.
There are a lot of layers in the song, starting off with with the beats and the piano, the backing vocals highlighting every important detail.
Yet, it's Tom Odell's roaring, strong and very controlled voice, which reminds the listener why they first fell for this artist.

Further on in the record, Tom also proves that he still knows how to write the emotional, stripped back piano ballads. "Constellations", "Sparrow" and "Mystery" allow you to go on a journey through your own experiences, as the lyrics he writes are very relatable.

With "Daddy" the piano man and his band brought the energetic dynamic of their live performances into the studio.
Dirty guitar riffs are paired with a wild piano and an incredibly strong rhythm section. Listening to this tracks makes you feel like you're in the middle of an Odell gig. And it's fabulous. This one is definitely "the one" for the fans of up-beat, rock arrangements.

To sum it up: Tom Odell has managed to evolve as an artist and showed us that he can combine the light, danceable beats with the meaningful songwriter elements. He found the fine line between the modern beats and the elegance of classical piano songs. "Wrong Crowd" is full of depth, grip and a lot of thought.

You should listen to these tracks: Magnetised, Concrete, Sparrow, Daddy, Mystery

If the video below doesn't work for you, try this link.

Tom Odell online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr | YouTube | Instagram

Thank you for your visit! 

Credits // Text: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image: Tom Odell press kit | ** a physical copy of this album was provided by Sony Music Germany

EP Review: "A Flower In The Dark" by Lewis Fergusson

Hey guys!

There are many joyful events when you write a blog.
Really, I mean it.
And even though I don't think I'm very materialistic, I love receiving physical copies of albums and EPs.
Especially when I don't expect them at all.

A little while ago I received some lovely mail from Scotland!
It took some time to finally sit down and listen to the music, but I did!

And of course, I had to review it!

Artist: Lewis Fergusson
Title: A Flower In The Dark
Genre: Folk, Blues
Label: independent
Release: 22nd November 2014
HITS rating: 7/10

Lewis Fergusson is a singer/songwriter from Dumfries, Scotland.
His sound ties together elements of Acoustic, Folk, Blues and Rock.

In 2010, Lewis released his debut EP called "Head Keeps Spinning". Four years later, he shared his second EP "A Flower In The Dark" with the world.

Lewis Fergusson received radio airplay on stations such as BBC Radio Scotland and West Sound Radio.
He also played some great festival slots at Celtic Connections, The Wickerman and Big Burns Supper.

Here's my review of Lewis' latest EP, "A Flower In The Dark".

1) Nothing To Be
2) A Flower In The Dark
3) Highway Code
4) No Warnings (live)

Opener "Nothing To Be" creates a slightly mysterious and dark atmosphere.
The bluesy guitar picking wraps you up and allows you to focus on the track without exceptions.
Lewis' vocals can be described as warm, inviting, clear and expressive, therefore it is very comfortable to listen to him presenting the songs.

A track that really stands out, in my opinion, is "No Warnings" which is a live version.
The song has something very calming, very hopeful to it.
You wouldn't know it's a live recording, if it wasn't for the slight change in quality, mostly due to the microphone.
This proves that Lewis Fergusson sounds exactly the same live, which is an absolutely fantastic thing to say.

To sum it up: This EP is a very charming and endearing collection of songs.
I have a feeling that it's perfect for Autumn, as it's got this warm, yet dark atmosphere. The singer/songwriter created some fantastic music and we're really looking forward to more from Lewis Fergusson.

You should listen to these tracks: Nothing To Be, No Warnings

Lewis Fergusson online: Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Text: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image: Lewis Fergusson | ** a physical copy of this EP was provided by the artist's management

Get To Know: Katie Elizabeth

Hey guys!

What pushes you to work on a passion of yours?
See, writing and taking photos is a passion of mine and now that it is shaping into a "career", I sometimes have to remind myself that being passionate about something is the only reason to turn something into a job.

I have to work really hard in order to "live my dream" and be a writer/photographer/media person.
And to be able to work really hard, I need to enjoy things.
So I guess, the thing that pushes me is the fact that I want to keep doing this for a long time.

Today a young lady from Scotland is here to introduce herself to you and talk about what pushed her into music even more.
So, dear HITS audience, please get to know Katie Elizabeth.

Who are you?
I'm a 19 year old singer/songwriter named Katie Thomson, but my music is under 'Katie Elizabeth'.
I'm from Kinross in Scotland, but I'm living in Perth at the moment. I also study Music at Perth University of Highlands and Island, which has pushed me a lot in terms of pursuing my music.
My main instrument is singing but I can play a little piano, guitar, bass and I've just started playing the violin again.

How would you describe your music?
My music (in my opinion) is Folk/Pop. It's very mellow, but I always like to put an instrumental build up towards the end of my songs.
I've worked a lot with flute players this year, which has given my music that 'folky feel'. Hopefully I'll work with a lot more instruments next year and get a big band going, in order to make my music different and exciting.

What does music mean to you?
Music has always been something I've always seen myself doing. (I always wanted to be Britney Spears.)
I always loved listening to other music and becoming really inspired to be doing the same thing. I'm always looking up unsigned artists and gaining ideas from what they have done.
Music has also been a massive confidence boost for me. When I performed in high school, I would almost be in tears at the thought of going on stage. Now I love it and gigs are my favourite thing to do, especially with the band.
There is no better feeling than coming off stage and getting such great feedback about your own music.

Your guilty pleasure song is?
I have loads of guilty pleasure songs. I guess as a music student, you are expected to like 'good quality music' and I do love all the great musicians out there that are my everyday music!
But I never say no to a sing along to Justin Bieber or Beyoncé.

What have you released so far?
So far, I've released a single named 'Take my Hand' which can be found on Bandcamp and Soundcloud. I have also released an EP named 'Short and Sweet' which can be found on iTunes, Spotify and Tidal.

What is coming up?
I've just finished my second year of University, so I'm looking forward to a Summer of booking and playing gigs. I was hoping to do another tour next year or even this year.
I'll also be starting to look for a big band to play for me and hopefully get another EP recorded next year.

Katie Elizabeth online: Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | Bandcamp | YouTube

Thank you for your visit! 

Credits // Text intro & questions: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image & answers: Katie Thomson

Video Interview: Madeline Juno

Hey guys!

Some of you might know that I started writing this blog at a rather young age. 15 that was.
At that point I didn't know this could turn into a career/a job, but I knew that it would allow me to grow and to learn a lot.

Being from a rather boring town in the South of Germany, there isn't much you can do at a young age.
Especially not, when you aren't into "clubbing" and underage drinking.
Within the four years of blogging, I've obviously spent a lot of time at my desk.
And sometimes it made me feel like I was the only person who would prefer to work on a possible career rather than going out at the age of 16, 17.

But just like it is with everything else in life, there are always likeminded people.

Just a little while ago I did some research for an interview with the artist you'll meet below.
She wrote a song called "Youth" which described a lot of thoughts I had about growing up and spending more time working than "being a proper teenager".

I can't wait for you to find out more about this talented lady, if you're not familiar with her already! 

Madeline Juno is a singer/songwriter, originally from Offenburg, Germany - now based in Berlin, Germany.
Her sound marches into quite a few directions; you can definitely spot the main element which is a glowy Pop sound, yet you'll easily spot the melancholy of Folk music and the intensity of Electro beats.

 Madeline's parents are both musicians, which makes it no surprise to hear she started making music at a very young age.
At the age of 14, the young musician uploaded her first video to YouTube.
Her talent, work ethic and the honesty of her music have gotten her multiple support slots.
All of that led to Madeline building herself a loyal and growing international fanbase.

Her song "Error" made it onto the soundtrack of a German movie.
She later presented another single of her's at the Eurovision Song Contest 2014.

LP "The Unknown" (2014)
LP "Salvation" (2016)

During my recent trip to Berlin, I met up with the absolutely lovely Madeline and we had a little chat about being Germans with a massive love for the English language, her music family, starting out at a young age and a lot more.


Watch Madeline's newest music video for her track "You Know What" below:

Madeline Juno online: Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram

Big thank you to Donna & Britta for arranging the interview and providing us with a lovely spot to film.

And of course, thank you to Maddy for being absolutely lovely and having the little chat with me.

Thank you for your visit! 

Credits // Text, Image & Video: Vanessa Jertschewske

Festival Excitement: Barn On The Farm 2016

Hey guys!

In exactly one month I'll be in England, having a beautiful time, listening to amazing music.
I love having something to look forward to all the time and currently it's a festival.

Since the last "Festival Excitement" post was very well received on here, I thought I'd write another episode.
This time it's all about a festival I'm actually attending.
If you want me to write about any other festival, please let me know.

Let's get into it!

Barn On The Farm - the title gives away what to expect. But not completely.
The BOTF festival takes place on an actual working farm in Gloucester, UK.
For those of you who don't know where Gloucester is (I didn't!), it's in the South West of England.

Surrounded by fields and animals, the festival area is a beauty itself.
The team behind the festival shows that their love for independent musicians is just as present as their skills of booking "the next big thing".

Acts that played the previous years are James Bay, Ed Sheeran, Bastille, George Ezra, Hozier as well as some house in the sand favourites; Ryan O'Reilly, Adam Barnes and Rhodes.

Barn On The Farm online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram

Tickets HERE.

Here are the acts that are on my schedule:

Sunday's headliner is one of the finest headliners I could think of.
I had the pleasure of seeing Jack live last month and it was incredibly mindblowing.
Therefore it goes without saying that I'm definitely going to watch his set.
(And probably lose my mind all over again.)

The "Farm Band" is probably the coolest band the Main Stage is going to present.
Some fantastic acts have teamed up to played some of their songs in a very special band setting.

The Farm Band will consist of: Gabrielle Aplin, Hannah Grace, Joe Keogh (of Amber Run) and Hudson Taylor.
My hunch tells me that this is going to be fabulous.
(That video below is a good proof, too.)

I've already had the pleasure of chatting to the absolutely lovely Gavin.
And I'm sure I'm not the only one who is looking forward to his set at Barn On The Farm.
His debut album "Bitter Pill" is a treat for the ears, therefore our bets are on him.

Alright guys, who doesn't love husky vocals paired with bluesy guitars?
I have a strong feeling that JP Cooper is definitely going to be one of those artist whom the crowd can't get enough of.
His way of presenting his songs is honest, pure and very passionate. The perfect combination.

It doesn't take Laurel a lot more than an electric guitar and her hypnotizing vocals to grab your attention.
She's going to be on the main stage this year and you bet we're excited to see what this talented lady has in store for us.

The recipe to win over a big part of the HITS team:
acoustic guitars, smooth percussions, warm vocals and beautiful lyrics.
Brother & Bones took the formula and make us weak in the knees. I'm definitely going to be in the front row for them!

I've known Martin Luke Brown's music for quite a while now and recently got to watch him perform live when he supported Jack Garratt on tour.
His soulful voice, the mix of gorgeous piano riffs and badass beats, as well as his guitar based tracks - it already got me during soundcheck.
Very much looking forward to seeing him again.

I kid you not when I say that I've received a press release which included The Amazons' October tour dates, just a few days ago.
I was already chatting to our photographer Alex, asking if he wanted cover a gig.
Very annoyed that I couldn't make it.
Now that I've realized they're also playing at Barn On The Farm, I'm alright again!
Check out why by watching the video below.

More lady power! Dagny already won me over with the first verse.
Her slightly raspy, dark vocals, the alt-pop sound and her way of performing a track - can it get any better?
Thank you, BOTF - you booked some jewels there, didn't you!!

I couldn't keep it a secret if I tried. I love rock music.
And I love it a lot.
I just love a good riff, a badass bassline and some roaring rock vocals.
Black Honey are definitely going to fill my little rocker heart with joy by making me dance.
(I can't dance though, so apologies to everyone who has to watch me...)

Another artist I've already seen live before, and another artist I can't wait to see again.
Hannah Grace has that kind of voice that you wish you had yourself. And if you did, you'd never stop singing.
But reality hits you and you realize you don't have that voice.
So you're quiet and just enjoy her live set. With a lot of impressed gasps every now and then.

NOTE: festivals are the perfect opportunity to check out artists you haven't heard of before. This post is just a suggestion of acts I recommend. Of course I'll be checking out other acts as well. 

I hope you've enjoyed my little selection of acts.
And I certainly hope to see some of you at the festival! Please let me know if you're attending and we can have a drink together!

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Text: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image: Barn On The Farm

Song Of The Day: "Safe In My Arms" by Tom Crouch

Hey guys!

If you take some time to think about it, you might come to the conclusion that the internet is a massive privilege.
Not every human on this planet has access to it, yet most of us seem to take it for granted.
I know, I do most of the time.
To have access to a medium that lets to you connect with people from all over the world,
delivers information at any given time and gives you the opportunity to express yourself - how can we take this for granted?

Most of the acts you see featured on HITS have either submitted their work by email, or have been discovered on a random stroll through the music sites of the world wide web.

One artist I discovered rather randomly is Tom Crouch.
And guess what? I'm going to tell you a bit more about him now.

Tom Crouch is a London, UK based singer/songwriter and musician.
His music offers many layers and facets and could be genrefied as Alternative with sprinkles of Blues and Folk.

Tom recently independently released his debut EP "A Civil War Of Head & Heart" (April 11th 2016).
The EP was recorded in studios across the USA and UK.

The young musician isn't new to the industry though; over the years Tom has collaborated with artists such as Gabrielle Aplin and Lauren Aquilina. He supported John Mayer (#goals!) and HAIM.
Oh, and Tom also played loads of festivals; Glastonbury, iTunes Festival and T in the Park - just to name a few.

The song I'd like to introduce to you as our Song Of The Day, is Tom's track "Safe In My Arms", which you can find on his debut EP.

"Safe In My Arms" is a very calm track which wins you over with its beautiful arrangements.
The softly played electric guitar sets the scene and almost seems to wrap you up like a comforting blanket. 

Tom's voice stands out and definitely guides you through the track.
  He presents the very personal and endearing lyrics in a charming and expressive manner.
Even though you'd describe his voice as a strong and warm one, he casually throws a falsetto your way every now and then. 

It is pretty obvious that Tom Crouch is not just a singer, he's also a songwriter.
 And a bloody great one, to say the least.
We adore his sound!

Listen to "Safe In My Arms" below and buy it here
(link leads to iTunes store, no immediate purchase/costs)

Tom Crouch online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Text: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image: Tom Crouch