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.

Song Of The Day: "Reason To Hate You" by Rhys Lewis

Hey guys!

Over here at house in the sand, we love getting to know artists through their music.

You know, just by listening to an album, you get to hear multiple sides of an artists - maybe you'll hear how they sound when they're sad, or when they're happy, or in love.
It's super interesting and exciting to learn all of that just through music.

With the amount of versatile singles Rhys Lewis has released over the course of the past year, we've heard a lot of his musical sides - and not a single one has been a let down.

Today we're hear to share Rhys' latest single with you and we hope you are ready to cry.

- Song Of The Day -
"Reason To Hate You" by Rhys Lewis

Rhys Lewis is a singer/songwriter based in London, UK.

His sound is going to make every classic Soul lover's heart beat - combining Soul with elements of Folk, Rock and Blues, Rhys has quickly created a signature sound which will draw your attention to his work.

Spending most of the past year in studios in London, Nashville, Stockholm, Los Angeles, Berlin and Isle Of Wight, the young musician has been writing and recording songs for his upcoming debut album.
His debut single "Waking Up Without You" hit #1 on Spotify's Viral Chart and reached 170 000 streams within two weeks.

Follow-up single "Living In The City" was just as strong and has now been streamed over 1.3 million times - a statement which probably speaks for itself.

His third single "I Know The Feeling" was written for a friend who was going through a tough time. The song and its music video adddress the importance of men's mental health.

Followed by "Be Your Man", a heartbreakingly beautiful ballad that won us all over with it's simplicity and straight-forward attitude.

He got us up on our feet, dancing to his upbeat track "Wish I Was Sober" in September.  

To catch one of his upcoming Europe and UK shows, make sure to click here for the dates.

And just last week he released his brand new single "Reason To Hate You", a heartbreaking ballad.

Throughout the entire song, all we hear is Rhys' voice and the electric guitar.
This simplicity could be tragically monotonous to listen to, but it isn't.

In fact, it soaks you in and grabs you.
Maybe it's Rhys' confidence in his writing, maybe it's the universal and relatable heartbreak he's singing about, maybe it's magic.

But it grabs your attention.
With vivid storytelling, highlighting the vulnerable side of love and - of course, expressive vocals, it's no surprise that we found our eyes watering and our hearts breaking a little.

Listen to "Reason To Hate You" here:

- buy or stream "Reason To Hate You" -

Rhys Lewis online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram

More of Rhys Lewis on house in the sand:
Video Interview | Song Title Challenge

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Words: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image: Rhys Lewis via Universal UK

songs for days: #1

Hey guys!

Welcome to "songs for days", episode one.

We're constantly thinking of new ways to share brilliant music with you.

The amount of songs we find in our inbox is impossible to share one piece at a time - 
so we thought we might show you seven songs at once - but taking it one day at a time.

Basically, we're inviting you to spend the week with us.
We'll bring the tunes, you'll just bring yourself and we're ready to take off.

Below you'll find a selection of songs, tailored for the average week.
We tried figuring out what kind of mood you might be in and how music could help to improve your day.

So... let's do this!

Monday // "Storm" by Mighty Oaks

Mondays can be so tough, we all know that.
So, we should start the week with some melow sounds to ease us into the working week.
Mighty Oaks have released a beautiful new EP (read our review here) and we can't get enough of the calm beauty that is "Storm".
Let those soothing harmonies guide you through the process of unwinding.

Tuesday // "Reflection" by Louis Samson

I don't know about you, but as soon as Tuesday hits us - I need some colourful tunes to keep me going.
Nothing too upbeat, because I'm still adjusting to the hectic of the week - but some groovy and smooth to accompany me.
Louis Samson must've heard my prayers and just released "Reflection" - a perfect track to keep the spirits high. It's groovy, has great R'n'B vibes and will definitely help you through the day.

Wednesday // "I Want You To Know" by Rökkva

Do you know those typical Wednesdays? When you're not sure if you're enjoying the week or if you actually need a break?
Yeah.. in case you're having one of those days, let Rökkva take away your worries with "I Want You To Know", a stunning ballad which has a beautiful, slightly nostalgic twist to it.
Get yourself a cup of tea, sit down, breathe and listen. Thursday is coming

Thursday // "Like A Leaf" by Nicolai

Thursdays are great. Thursdays are close to the weekend, which means we can get our groove on.
Let Nicolai's "Like A Leaf" take over your day and get ready to shake like a leaf because the beat is just great for that.
You'll dig this one.

Friday // "Fake Happy" by Paramore

By the time Friday finally rolls around, we all need to get away from work and just dance.
If "Fake Happy" and Paramore don't get you moving, I'm afraid you've worked too much, buddy.
Take a break and embrace the (fake) happiness.

Saturday // "Paranoia" by Liza Anne

It's Saturday! Yes! Yes! Yes!
If you've listened to our "female equals future" playlist, you'll already know this one.
"Paranoia" by Liza Anne is a fabulous track to just sing along as you're forgetting about the work worries of the week.
(Unless you're a freelancer. In that case you might relate to the video.)

Sunday // "Mess" by Tuvaband

Let's collect our strength to get ready to repeat the madness on Monday morning.
Let's all sit down and relax as we're listening to Tuvaband's "Mess", which couldn't be more beautiful if it tried.
It's as calming as the ocean and as warm as a campfire.
It's exactly what we deserve after this long week.

And that's it for the week!

Please let us know what you think of this new feature, we'd love to hear your thoughts.

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Words & Image: Vanessa Jertschewske

Playlist: female equals future

Hey guys!

I grew up surrounded by women who taught me that hard work gets you places,
that loving unconditionally is the only way to love truly,
and who taught me that women are capable of literally everything. 

My first favourite band was a fieve piece girl band.
They were the first band I saw live when I was six years old and I wanted to be as expressive with my life is they were with theirs. 

In kindergarten, I hung out with boys and was never excluded from any games. They treated me like one of them. 

When I first started out in the music industry at 16, I was guided by some of the most supportive men I've ever met.

Once I decided to turn photography into a serious part of my job, I found so much support and help from a female collective.

Why am I telling you this?
Well, to show you that I grew up, thinking there was no such thing as inequity between men and women.

But - spoiler alert: there is.

I could write a million and one posts about this topic (and I have written one, click here),
but instead I've decided to turn my frustration into something joyful.

And so I've created a "female equals future" playlist for myself and everyone else to enjoy.

Female artists struggle in many ways and so this playlist is dedicated to all of them.

I want to comment on every single track, so I'll try to write a little summary of the playlist.

So my idea is for you to hit play and read along to my commentary as you're listening to the tracks.
If you don't want to do that, that's fine - but please check out these talented musicians.

Every artist/band name is linked to their website, so if you like something - make sure to visit their pages and support them.

Enjoy "female equals future"!

Of course I had to start off with some Paramore.
Yes, they're not all women in the band - but front lady Hayley Williams was one of the first women I've looked up to for her creativity and her ability to turn emotions into music.
"Hard Times" is yet another masterpiece.

Dagny's "Love You Like That" is one of the loveliest love songs on the playlist and it's so refreshing, so energising and just a beautiful pop song.

I first listened to Liza Anne about four years ago and have been in love with her sound ever since. She's evolving so much and "Paranoia" might just be my favourite track of hers.

Black Honey is another female fronted rock band that you need in your life, so start with "Hello Today", if you don't know them yet.

Laurel's voice is so expressive and so hypnotizing, "San Francisco" will soak you in and not let go. You'll love it.

"Used To Do" by Gabrielle Aplin is yet another proof that she can pull off any change of style - whether it's Folk or Pop or Rock, she's got it. 

Anne-Marie is one of those exciting acts who still has plenty of surprises coming up for us, "Heavy" showcasing her melancholic and soft side.

Kat Frankie is my latest discovery - and holy moly, I'm so glad I found her music. "Bad Behaviour" speaks for itself, so give it a listen and you won't be disappointed.

Lissie is a remarkable lady who has written multiple stunning albums and has found a sound that couldn't work better for her. "When I'm Alone" is just genius.

If you haven't heard of Bryde before - you're gonna thank me for adding "Desire" to the list. It's her latest track and it's mysterious and badass and overall brilliant.

Fenne Lily's "Top To Toe" is one of the most calming tracks you'll find on this playlist. I fell in love with this song when it randomly played on Soundcloud and I haven't been able to stop listening to it since.

Keeva has been featured on HITS a couple of times before and it's such a joy to finally have another track to share with you. Warning - "Whiskey" might make you cry. Her voice is pure gold.

You're already crying? Let me add fuel to the fire with The Lunar Year's "Porcelain". Another female fronted band that has touched our hearts with this stunning track.

Sigrid had a big year and if you listen to "Dynamite", you'll know why. I can't help but get Adele-like wow-vibes from her extremely expressive voice.

Every lady featured on this list blows us away with her voice - and Hannah Grace is no exception. Keep your love is firey, souly and just fabulous.

Kid Wave combines moody beats with sunny riffs and give us magical vintage vibes with "Everything Changes".

Say what you want, I like Taylor Swift and thing her evolution sound wise is nothing but fascinating. "...Ready For It?" is exciting and futuristic.

If "Woman (Oh Mama)" by Joy Williams doesn't get you stomping your foot, please see a doctor. It's infectious and such a perfect anthem.

To give you a moment of peace, I had to add Rachel Sermanni's "Breathe Easy" to the mix. It's so calming and so comforting, you might shed a tear or two. (I shed three.)

Nina Luna is a HITS favourite and her creative approach to music is so fulfilling, you don't want to miss out on "Hope Run Wild".

I have to admit, I don't know many Lady Gaga songs, but I wanted to end this playlist with her piano ballad "A Million Reasons" because it left me speechless.

And that's it for the playlist.

I really hope you've enjoyed it - thank you for checking it out.

If you know any female musicians you'd like us to feature in the future, please get in touch!

house in the sand online: twitter | facebook | soundcloud | youtube | instagram

Vanessa online: twitter | instagram

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Words & Image: Vanessa Jertschewske

Behind The Song: "Five Years Time" by ONR

Hey guys!

Have you ever noticed how out of everything a person could possibly collect, music is the one thing you could never have enough of?

I mean, think about it - have you ever felt like it was a bad thing to have a full music library?
I definitely haven't.

I think you can't possibly know too many songs - there's something new to discover in every track you'll come across - at least the ones we share on house in the sand.

So let's get acquainted with a very excting track by ONR who chats us through the song.

- Behind The Song -
"Five Years Time" by ONR

ONR is an indie/electronic artist from Scotland.

Previously releasing demos via the indie label Leftwing, ONR is now signed to Capitol Records in the US.

His debut single "Jericho" received support from Spotify, as well as US stations such as KCRW, KCSN and Live 105.

December will see ONR touring the UK, including playing three sold out shows in Scotland.
He is also set to perform at SXSW in 2018.

Today ONR is here to chat us through the writing and recording process of his brand new single, "Five Years Time".

We hope you enjoy the exclusive insight - now let's let ONR take over the post:

"'Five Years Time' is probably lyrically one of the darkest songs I have.

I was trying to promote two intersecting ideas: firstly, this idea of balancing your past with your present, and in particular, this common feeling that in some way you haven't atoned for the sins of your past or your subconscious; that your happiness is, at present, underserved.
Secondly, I wanted to set that against this current backdrop of dark, dark politics, and the increasingly common frustration and helplessness that this generation is feeling - the attitude of 'grin and bear it, just get through it, let's see where we end up'.

I'm usually someone who spends an awful long time writing songs - particularly lyrics.
Very rarely will I committo something in less than a month. I'm always tweaking, replacing, re-writing. I remember watching Wings For Wheels, seeing Springsteen with pages upon pages of rewritten lyrics for "Thunder Road" and "Born To Run"... that's the kind of writer I want to be.

But "Five Years Time" wasn't that. It took no time at all. No countless rewrites, no endless editing.
It just came very easily. You get a few like that, and I'm always suspicious of them for some reason... but it works. I think it's probably one of the truest examples that I have of the subconscious feeling I had at the time just spilling straight in to the melody without much necessity for translation.

The band and I gigged this along with some of the other tracks in the very early days, and it always got a huge response live. It's a simple song - probably the simplest I have - and I'd maybe not given it due credence because of that, but it reacts in that environment. The more we played it, the more everyone began to believe: 'there's something about this track.'

I took this song to James Flannigan, a producer based in LA. I played him three tracks, and he picked out "Five Years Time" immediately as the track he was most excited about working on. James also produced our first release, "Jericho".
We worked out of his studio in Silverlake for a week. I really loved working with James, and felt a real kinship with him straight away. I think we both come from similar worlds, and were looking to build these big, bold American productions, but retaining those technical aspirations and delicacies of classic UK songwriting.

I'd just finished watching Stranger Things, and loved it - particularly the soundtrack. I still feel like it was written for me. It's so perfect.
We had it playing in the studio the entire time, along with The Day The Earth Stood Still. Listening to the track, I think you can tell.

Gear-wise, we used a lot of tape methods to get that feel  - we ran pretty much everything through a TEAC reel-to-reel, again and again, sometimes deliberately messing the reels around during playback to get those strange clips, pop and sweeps you hear throughout the track - really fun.
We used a range of synth, both hard and soft (classic trio of Juno/Voyager/Prophet that are my go-tos).
My Martin D15-M acoustic guitar is on there, as well as some Nord stuff for the keys, and a bunch of amazing drum samples and loops that James cut up and worked in to the track.

The response to "Jericho" was so incredible, and "Five Years Time" feels like the next stage of projection to where the music will end up.
I hope people like it."

Listen to "Five Years Time" below:

- buy or stream "Five Years Time" -

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

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Words (Intro): Vanessa Jertschewske | Image & Words "About Song": ONR

Gig Photos: Hippo Campus at 9:30 Club, Washington

Hey guys!

Which shows have you seen recently?

Team HITS is enjoying the busy gig season and we're all having a great time at our local venues.
By sharing all these photos on house in the sand, it feels like we all ge tto watch the same shows - even if it means in photo form.

Our Washington based photographer Gabby Ames went out to photograph Hippo Campus and their support act Remo Drive at 9:30 Club - and today we get to share the photos with you.

You can learn more about Gabby here, please also make sure to follow her online:
website | twitter | instagram


Date: 13th November 2017
Venue: 9:30 Club, Washington (US)

Support Act: Remo Drive

Remo Drive online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram


Headliner: Hippo Campus

Hippo Campus online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram


We hope you enjoyed the photos!

In case you'd like to see more of house in the sand - follow us on Instagram.

Thank you for your visit!


Credits // Words: Vanessa Jertschewske | Photography: Gabby Ames | **a ticket & photo pass have kindly been provided**

EP Review: "Storm" by Mighty Oaks

Hey guys!

Whenever I sit down to write reviews, I like creating a nice environment for me to write.
I constantly change up my desk to keep it fresh - which helps to keep my writing fresh and keeps me from falling into a rut.

In the darker months, I love lighting a candle, turning on my vintage lamps I bought at a flea market, accompanied by a cup of tea.

Once I'm in this setup, nothing can stop me.
But, of course, great music fuels the excitement.

And since we only feature music we truly enjoy, reviewing music for HITS is an absolute pleasure.

Today's EP might actually be one of my favourites of 2017, so let's check it out!

Band: Mighty Oaks
Title: Storm
Genre: Folk
Label: Universal Music
Release Date: 3rd November 2017

Mighty Oaks are a trio based in Berlin, Germany.

With all three members being from different parts of the world, they met after a gig in Hamburg, Germany.

Slowly but surely, they all had moved to Berlin and soon enough they started making music together.
Ian Hooper (USA), Claudio Donzelli (Italy) and Craig Sanders (UK) have been playing and recording together for a while and Mighty Oaks have become a much appreciated band in the Alt-Folk industry.

In 2010 they released their debut EP "Driftwood Seat", in 2012 follow-up EP "Just One Day".
Soon afterwards they played alongside Kings Of Leon, Dry The River and Chvrches.

Spending their Summers playing tons of festivals, Mighty Oaks gained the support of countless music lovers which was very obvious when the band's debut album "Howl" instantly made it to the top ten in Germany.
March this year they released their highly anticipated second album, "Dreamers".

 And now they are here with their "Storm" EP, which we can't wait to share with you.

1) One Shot
2) Storm
3) These Days
4) The Dark

Opener "One Shot" invites you to dream.
It has one of the most beautiful melodies which is underlined by calming acoustic guitar chords and carried by a harmonies as stunning as they could be.
Soft string arrangements allow you to focus on the depth of the song; yet not one elements weights you down.
"One Shot" is a musical candle lit dinner, providing pretty much everything you could wish for.

Title track "Storm" deserves the title track position.
It's a charmingly melancholic song which has a hynoptising feeling to it - it asks for your attention in the most polite way and you'll gladly obey.
It's difficult to pick a favourite element in the song, as all details make the track what it is - a stunning and moving piece of music.

"The Dark" is the final track on the EP and it really is the big finale.
Even though the instrumental is very simple and focuses on the electric guitar, the song sounds big and powerful.
The soft string arragement shines a beautiful and emotional light on the song and probably will leave you putting the song on repeat.

To sum it up: The "Storm" EP proves that Mighty Oaks have a talent for writing the most beautiful melodies around and know how to use that power wisely. Every track on the EP demands your attention without coming on too strong.
This EP is an essential for cozy nights at home.

You should listen to these tracks: One Shot, Storm

Check out the official video for "Storm" below:

- buy "Storm" EP: iTunes | Amazon -
- stream "Storm" EP -

Mighty Oaks online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Words: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image: via Mighty Oaks

Behind The Song: "aawake at night" by half•alive

Hey guys!

The best way to describe house in the sand's email inbox?
"a treasure chest"

For sure.

No matter what time of day you open said inbox,
you know you're going to find some new and exciting gem.

And of course we will continue to share all of our favourite finds with you - so let's do this!

- Behind The Song -
"aawake at night" by half•alive

half•alive are a three-piece from Long Beach, California (USA).
The independent band formed in 2016 as the product of a challenge member Josh Taylor commited to; he wrote 50 songs in order to improve his writing skills.
Together with drummer Brett Kramer and Grammy nominated producer James Krause, a few of those songs came to life.

half•alive's first EP, "3", was recorded inside a helicopter hanger which has been redesigned into a recording studio.
After releasing the EP, the band started working on their live shows and added bassist J Tyler to the mix.

The fan base grew rapidly, to no surprise.

Today we get to learn a bit more about "aawake at night", the band's latest music video. 

Check out what they tell us about writing and recording the song, as well as shooting the music video:

"'aawake at night' is by far the most introspective of the songs off our album 3.
When writing the song, we were looking to depict our hearts longing for something more than our present circumstance is providing.
The feeling of being unsettled and searching for something that will last rather than pass away is what inspired us to write this song.

The recording process was by the far the most arduous for this song.
We really pushed to make this song reach the potential that we believed it could reach. The goal was to have strong electronic influences for this song, when a particular sound wasn't right, we would spend hours searching until we found it. In many ways the process of recording this song is reflected in the song's lyrics - the endless search.

We ran into many issues filming the music video.
The most challenging issue was finding a location to place the giant shipping container we rented.
After diligently searching, we finally learned that J's dad would let us use his church's parking lot.
When it was being loaded in, everybody came out of the church and apartment complexes next door to see what was going on.
It was crazy. We're still surprised it went smoothly."

Watch the video for "aawake at night" here:

half•alive online: Website | Twitter | YouTube | Instagram

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Text Intro: Vanessa Jertschewske | Text "About Song" & Image: half•alive

Song Of The Day: "Parachute" by Arms Akimbo

Hey guys!

Everyone who knows my personal music taste a little better, knows that a good indie-rock gets me on my feet in no time.

I think I formed a love for this genre in my early years of blogging and still connect it to that era of house in the sand.
It's quite amazing how music can transport you back to certain moments or feelings.

Today I'm super excited to share a track with you, that made it onto my private playlist in no time.
I can't wait to hear what you think of the song!

- Song Of The Day -
"Parachute" by Arms Akimbo

Arms Akimbo is a four piece from Los Angeles, USA.

Their sound mixes the best of Indie vibes with Californian Rock elements, leaving us with a sound that makes you want to move.

They met in college, started the band which is influenced by acts such as Portugal. The Man, Manchester Orchestra and more.

After gigging around Los Angeles, opening for Walk The Moon, The Animals, Strangers You Know and many more, they released three singles with producer Stephen Gomez (The Summer Set).

Arms Akimbo's single "Michigan" went viral on Spofity and reached over 850 000 plays, ranking high on the viral charts, globally as well as in the US and Canada.
Following the releases were sold out shows in Los Angeles.

Arms Akimbo are:
Peter Schrupp (vocals, guitar)
Christopher Kalil (guitar, vocals)
Matthew Sutton (drums)
Colin Boppell (bass)

Their latest release, "Parachute", is yet another reason why the band should be on your playlist.

Now, we could sit here and write about how brilliantly guiding the drums are.
Or how catchy the guitar riffs are.
Or how much the bassline adds a groovy dynamic to the song.
Or how absolutely attention grabbing the vocals are.

Or, we could just let you listen to the song immediately.

However - we need to warn you: the song is extremely addictive and you might end up listening to it on repeat.
(That's what we've been doing all day.)

Listen to "Parachute" here:

- stream "Parachute" here -

Arms Akimbo online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Words: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image: via Arms Akimbo

Gig Photos: Bad Suns at 9:30 Club, Washington

Hey guys!

Everytime we get to cover shows for house in the sand, there's a collective fist bump going around Team HITS.

We all love photographing concerts, because we love capturing moments and sharing them with everyone who went to the show - and those who wish they would've gone.

Our Washington based photographer Gabby went to photograph the brilliant duo QTY who opened the show for Bad Suns, so today you get to check out the cool photos.

You can learn more about Gabby here, please also make sure to follow her online:
website | twitter | instagram


Date: 29th October 2017
Venue: 9:30 Club, Washington

Act #1: QTY

QTY online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram


Act #2: Hunny

Hunny online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram


Headliner: Bad Suns

Bad Suns online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram

And that's it for today.

Let us know if you've seen any of the bands live before - we would love to hear what you think!

Thank you for your visit!


Credits // Words: Vanessa Jertschewske | Photography: Gabby Ames | **a ticket and photo pass have kindly been provided**