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.

Kat Frankie

Photos of the mega talented Kat Frankie performing in Stuttgart.

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: "The City" by Charlie Hole

Hey guys!

Yesterday we celebrated our new social media outfits with a new playlist.

Thank you all so much for checking it out and for the lovely feedback,
it truly made my day.

If you've listened to the playlist, you will have heard the song we're here to talk about today.
And if you haven't, no problem - that's why we're running today's feature.

I'm super thrilled to say that today the fabulous Charlie Hole is here to chat us through the story behind his latest single, "The City".
I always love finding out what inspired an artist to write a song about it and I especially love it when I also love the song.

So, ladies and gentlemen, let's check this out!

- Behind The Song -
"The City" by Charlie Hole

Charlie Hole is a singer/songwriter from Bournemouth, UK.

His carefully crafted music combines Acoustic and Folk elements in such elegant manner.
Charlie started making and writing music at the young age of eleven and has been going strong ever since.

With inspirations such as Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits & Paul Simon, it's no surprise that we find a lot of personality and intimacy in his songs.

His debut album "The Joy of a Caged Bird" was released in 2013.
With loyal fans and praise from none other than Rod Stewart and three time Novello Award winner Andy Hill, it's safe to say we're not the only ones with his music on repeat.

In October of 2017, Charlie dropped his latest EP, "Someone Else's Dream" and proved that his music is proper on-repeat material.

On June 8th of 2018 Charlie released a new single called "The Ballad Of Anne Beverley",
and just last week he shared his latest single, "The City", with us.

Today we get to find out what inspired the song, so please check out what Charlie told us about it:

"I lived in London for about five years in total; playing the open-mic circuit, busking and learning how to live away from home.
I wrote "The City" after moving out of London and reflecting on my time there with the benefit of a bit space and distance. I've always been hugely influenced by my surroundings and London really imposed itself on my writing in a lot of ways. It left a mark on me for sure.

It's a song that encapsulates everything there is about living in one of the greatest cities in the world; the good, the bad, the ugly and everything in between.

I love London, but it damn nearly killed me.
There were definitely times where I just couldn't breathe or hear myself think and I just had to get away from it all, back to sea.

I  also had some amazing times there and I learnt so much about myself and the world.
I often felt overwhelmed living in a place that had seen so much history, and I couldn't help but feel that in some way, we were stitching ourselves into its tapestry somehow...

I used to think about all the people that had passed through that place over the years, how many stories it could tell, how many dreams it had made or broken over all that time.

I also wanted to give the city a personality, like it was this omniscient presence watching over all of us, deciding who was going to win or lose on any given day, like it held all of us in the palm of its hands.

 I felt like it was bigger than all of us and I wanted to get that across in the song.
There's a bit of everyone in there, I hope."

Listen to "The City" right here:

- stream "The City" here -

Charlie Hole online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify | YouTube | Instagram

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Words (Intro & Outro): Vanessa Jetwash | Image & Words (about song): Charlie Hole

Playlist: the HITS essentials

Hey guys! 

We've had a face-lift on social media.

Okay, wait - that sounds like we've live streamed our face being lifted - which was not the case.
(Phew! I know.)

No, we just got a new logo for our social media channels and I'm absolutely in love with it.
You can find it by visiting our channels, they're all linked below.

It was designed by the brilliant Chris Stringer who has been a part of the HITS gang for multiple years. He's one of our favourite musicians and he's also super talented when it comes to graphic design.
So please go check out his work - you'll love it.

Graphic Design | Music

I'm so thrilled about this little change up on our socials, it just feels fresh and inspiring - which is exactly what we've needed around here.

So to celebrate our hip socials, I made a (not so) little playlist.

As you've noticed in the title of this post, it's called "the HITS essentials" - please let me explain that:

We love the music we share all year around - we wouldn't share it, if we didn't like it.
That's just the way we handle things around here - why write negative reviews when you could just focus on spreading the word for the musicians you do believe in, right?

So this playlist doesn't mean that we only love the featured artists.

The HITS essentials are songs by artists that either are part of our little gang or that have been interviewed and photographed by us and were a delight to be around.

(Please note - this playlist originally was 4 hours long, we had to cut it down a bit. So if you are an artist and are not featured on it, please know that we still love you!)

house in the sand has been built on friendships, we wouldn't be where we are without the friends we've made in music.

So, why don't you press play and check out a few stories below: 

Now, this wouldn't be house in the sand if I didn't write about a million words about the songs above.

The first track you'll find on the playlist is our title track - "Wrong Directions" by Martin and James.
This blog is named after a line from the song. ("I'll build my house in the sand until the waves knock it down.")
I first heard this song in 2011 when Martin and James supported Taylor Swift.
A year later I started a blog and needed a name for it - the song came to mind and soon the line became our name.
Seven years after hearing it for the first, Martin played the song for us at the house in the sand show in Berlin. Talk about things coming full circle!

Of course we needed a Jack Garratt track on here because he's mega fun to chat to and a musical genius.

ROE found us through the Jack Garratt interview and we fell in love with her sound.

Kodaline are still the winning champions of  the unofficial "funniest band to interview award". And I will always cherish the moment I made them read the lyrics to their songs in different accents.

When we discovered Rhys Lewis at Barn on the Farm in 2016, we felt like little talent scouts who predicted big times for the brilliant musician. AND WE WEREN'T WRONG.

Back in 2014 we met Jamie Lawson for an interview and a session right before he supported Ed Sheeran.
I still remember him playing "Cold In Ohio" for house in the sand's third birthday - it was so simple but so breathtaking. Jamie is one of the nicest people we've met through music, so it's always a pleasure to have him involved.

When I first heard The Lunar Year's "Porcelain", I cried.
(Okay, I also cried when I heard it the second, third and seveny-sixth time.)

Ben Barritt is part of the original HITS squad and his music is a playlist staple for sure.

We'll admit, we haven't interview Hozier (yet) but as a writer, his music inspires me to push myself and to be bold, yet artistic. Therefore his latest, "Nina Cried Power", just needs to be on this list.

The day I was in the studio with Jim Kroft and ended up singing choir vocals on "Redemption", I knew that this industry is the most random thing I've ever been a part of. And for that I love it.

Right after recording that song and getting a total of 5 hours sleep within 48 hours, I went to a cool hotel in Berlin to film an interview with Gavin James. He was so bubbly and fun to chat to, so that made being awake so much easier.

When Sony Music invited me to interview Tom Walker in early 2017, I said yes after hearing 30 seconds of his music. Of course I've been cheering for him when "Leave A Light On" went viral. So well deserved! 

The Vaccines are on this playlist because I did my first ever phone interview with their bassist - and I was so nervous. But it ended up being super fun and interesting, just like their live shows.

"Don't Act Like You Know Me" by The Arkanes will probably still make me boogie when I'm 80. Guess they'll always be my brothers.

Because we can't have enough rock music in our lives, Novatines just need to be a part of this party playlist.

Liam McClair was the first friend I've ever made in Manchester and he's the best tour guide who made me fall in love with the city. So, "We Should Talk" (about Manchester).

Tom Odell was the first artist I photographed as an official music photographer. Every time I've had him in front of the lens, I was blown away by his growth as an artist. I also still remember hearing "Another Love" for the first time and being drawn to his talent from the very first second on.

Wrabel is the kind of artist I want to be best friends with. So if anyone finds out where I can apply, please let me know. Until then I'll be sobbing to "The Village".

In 2010 I went to see Rooney live. They were the first indie gig I went to and I had my point and shoot camera with me, standing in the front row and snapping away. I remember how much I loved the results and being able to re-live the gig through photos so much, that I knew I wanted to be a music photographer. And look at me know, I regularly have the time of my life in photo pits.

Of course I had to end this playlist with a Paramore track. There's no other way to do this. I've loved their music since 2009, so in some ways they've made me

And that's it!

I really hope you'll love the playlist as much as you do. As you can tell the songs and artists mean a lot to house in the sand and I hope that the playlist is a nice way to support them.

I also want to thank all of you reading this for being a part of house in the sand - you give us a reason to re-do all our logos, to lose sleep over details in the designs and to have the best time of our lives creating content and sharing the music we love with you.

Here are all the platforms you can find us on, just click the little icons and they'll take you to our channels:

www.twitter.com/houseinthesand  www.facebook.com/houseinthesand  www.instagram.com/houseinthesand  www.youtube.com/houseinthesandBlog  https://open.spotify.com/user/houseinthesand?si=ez8xJSdtRGmAyrkPgLfKHQ  www.soundcloud.com/houseinthesand

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Words: Vanessa Jetwash | Image: Chris Stringer x HITS

7 songs: John Thacker

Hey guys!

You know, I'm having a lot of fun writing posts for you.

It's so cool that I get to share the music I love and that people are actually interested in hearing it.
We're all playing a huge part in music by caring about independent artists and sharing the art they create.

So let's all continue to be cool, shall we?
(I know, I know - why couldn't even stop if we tried.)

Today I'm super thrilled for two reasons;

1) the 7 songs feature is back: I love love love this feature, because I love finding out which songs people connect with.
2) because today we've got the fabulous John Thacker here to do a little playlist take-over.

He'll be sharing his selection of 7 songs with us and I can't wait for you to check it out.

But before you do, please make sure to check out John's music and follow his socials.

Listen to John's latest collaboration with Pet Planes:

John Thacker online: Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | Spotify | YouTube | Instagram

Let's check out John's playlist!


1) a song which makes you dance
"Perfect Places" by Lorde

Now, this song doesn't make me dance like I'm at a festival jumping up and down to the latest EDM DJ, but it makes me jump around in my house like a crazy person with my headphones on.
Not a care in the world, and it just makes me feel so happy and free! My happy dance song.


2) a song that calms you down
"Mystery Of Love" by Sufjan Stevens

I think this is one of the most beautiful and captivating movie soundtrack songs ever.
When I need to relax before a show, or when I'm feeling like I need inspiration, I'll play this.

The song takes me on a journey that I could listen to on repeat for hours.
It matches so well with the equally beautiful "Call Me By Your Name".


3) a song with a deep meaning
"Samson" by Regina Spektor

My all time favourite song by my all time favourite artist!

Now these are big statements, I know, but couldn't be more true when it comes to this song.
Regina has always influenced me more than anyone else when it comes to lyrics.

This song has been with me through so many heartbreaks and feelings, the story of the lyrics just stand out to me so much, so powerful, and I connect with this song and Regina like no other.
This song for me is what heartbreak, love, loss, hope, all feel like, all in one beautiful song.


4) a song that makes you feel nostalgic
"Foundations" by Kate Nash

Oh man, I love this song still to this day!

It reminds me of so many things, but mainly reminds me of sitting on the kerb with my childhood friends with our singles from HMV and playing this song on repeat without a care in the world.

Oh - and looking at each other and shouting "LEMONS" every time. Weird that now, nine years later, the song has a completely different feeling for me - nostalgia, yes, but also a new meaning.


5) a song which has accompanied you for a while
"Time Is Dancing" by Ben Howard

I listen to this song on a every other day basis.

Ben just has magic, doesn't he?
This song is just so subtly epic, it's my perfect "stare out of the window and think into my future song".


6) a song from your favourite genre
"Hoppipolla" by Sigur Ros

So, I don't have a favourite genre.

But I love love Icelandic music! 
Sigur Ros and Jonsi have been big influences in all my work, not just my music but my acting, my writing and my life!


7) a song by an artist / a band which has surprised you
"What You Waiting For?" by Lily Allen

Lily is another artist who I've been so inspired by.

But her latest album, "No Shame", was such a pleasant surprise; the entire album brought me back to the mid 00's, the lyrics are punchy but honest. Lily isn't trying to be anyone else here.
Unexpectedly the best album of the year so far!

Lily was one of the first artists who insipred me to write my early songs, her lyrics stood out to me.


And that was John's selection!
What do you think? Did you find any new favourites?

Previous 7 songs features: Racoon Racoon | Jackson Dyer | Simon Alexander | GOUX

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Words (Intro): Vanessa Jetwash | Words (about songs) & Image: John Thacker

Song Of The Day: "Blue Light" by SUN SILVA

Hey guys!

Okay, sometimes the universe scares me a little bit.

Now, I'm not exactly the biggest football person ever (not even close!), and before the recent World Cup I didn't know anything or any players. But - your gal is always here to learn new stuff, so I've been watching a few matches here and there.

(Maybe that's because some players are very nice to look at. I'm sorry. I said. I probably just set feminism back a few years. Throw stones at me, I deserve it.)

But today I was just going through my emails to find a track that has made it onto the FIFA 19 soundtrack - and this coincidence is confusing to me, but it's also brilliant.

I truly don't know whether this means the music industry is spying on me to send me relevant emails, or if I've manifested strange things - but here we are.
And I'm not complaining.

How could I if the music is this good?

- Song Of The Day -
"Blue Light" by SUN SILVA

SUN SILVA are a quartet from London, UK.

Before ever releasing any music, SUN SILVA have already built themselves as strong and loyal fan base in London's live scene.
And things are going well for them - only last week they've played a sold out headline show at The Lexington and this week they'll be supporting Jungle at their album launch show in London.

As mentioned above, their debut single "Blue Light" is on the FIFA 19 soundtrack - so yeah, the four piece from London is doing well.

We're glad we get to jump on the bandwagon before it's too crowded, so join is for a wild ride and let's listen to their debut single, "Blue Light".

"Blue Light" is the kind of track you'll subsconciously put on replay for hours.
While a lot of songs would make you lose your mind if played on an endless loop, "Blue Light" is different.

It has a calming, yet still lively feeling to it, making it the perfect song to relax to.
The mellow electric guitar kindly guides you through the song and is accompanied by groovy percussions and a slightly funky bassline.

With soft and smooth lead vocals and subtle backing vocals, the band has created a perfect balance.
"Blue Light" slowly builds up towards the last third of the song, only to fade out as beautifully as it started, proving the band's ability to write and arrange brilliant songs.

Listen to "Blue Light" right here:

- buy "Blue Light" -

SUN SILVA online: Twitter | Facebook | Spotify | Instagram

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Words: Vanessa Jetwash | Image: SUN SILVA

Behind The Song: "Last Dance" by Simon Alexander

Hey guys!

It's Monday. And that's okay.
We might all be a little tired, a little sad that the weekend is over - but you know what?
A new week means we have another set of days to listen to great music.

There is so much new music waiting to be heard, and even though it can be a bit overwhelming sometimes, we still love the fact that we will never run out of music to check out.

That's pretty cool, isn't it?

So let's not waste any time - we've got new and exciting music to listen to.

- Behind The Song -
"Last Dance" by Simon Alexander

Simon Alexander is a singer/songwriter from Göteborg, Sweden. 

His sound walks on the fine line between Folk and Indie and combines those key elements seemingly effortlessly, creating a sound that sweeps you off your feet, while still keeping you grounded with honest and storytelling lyrics.

Influenced by the early day heroes such as Jeff Buckley and Neil Young, it's no surprise that nowadays he's drawn to the sounds of Hozier and Matt Corby.

Simon has always had a big interest in music and spent the majority of his time as a drummer in multiple constellations, all while also working on his own material.

In 2015 the project Distant City Light released "Cold Shiver", which marked Simon's first release as a songwriter.
He then moved to Malmö, where he continued his music studies and kept on working on his solo music.

In Summer of 2016 he met up with Tobias Ekqvist and started working on his debut EP "Won't Be Found", which then got self-released on February 15th 2017.

This EP got him signed by Rehn Music Group which celebrated the release of his single "Slide" earlier this year.

Just last week Simon Alexander released his latest single, "Last Dance".

Today we're excited to share with you the story behind the song, told by Simon himself:

"Right before I headed into the studio to record my previous single, "Slide", we had the idea to record two songs in that session. But I didn't really have another song that felt right.
So I started to look through my library of unfinished songs - and found a bunch of ideas that I had recorded a couple years ago.
Some of them were not meant to see the light of day, but when I began playing around with a couple of them, they started to morph into what eventually became "Last Dance".

I knew that this was going to become something different from what I had written before. I wanted it to be a more fun and danceable track than my previous material, pushing me a bit out of my comfort zone, since I've only released more mellow and folky tracks these past years.

Once again I teamed up with producer Tobias Ekqvist (electric guitar) and Jonnie Holmberg (drums) in Studio Sunnana in Malmö. We based the song off a pre-production that I recorded in my home in Gothenburg, but we added a lot of ingredients on the spot. If one of had an idea in the studio that got us all grooving, we knew that we were onto something.

The guitar solo was one of those things. It was made one late night by Tobias, where he just played around until we found something that felt just perfect for the song.

The music video, which is being released very soon, was created by the same team that is behind the video for "Won't Be Found". It's a story-driven interpretation of the song which makes it very special."

Listen to "Last Dance" right here:

Simon Alexander online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify | YouTube | Instagram

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Words: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image: Simon Alexander via Pon't Danic Music

Video Of The Day: "Half As Good As You" by Tom Odell (feat. Alice Merton)

Hey guys!

There are SO many iconic collaborations out there which have happened over time.

Whether that's Sonny and Cher's "I Got You Babe" (it's iconic, okay?), Grease's "You're The One That I Want" performed by Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta (a CLASSIC) or a more recent example - Eminem and Beyoncé's "Walk On Water" (controversial, but definitely a big one).

There's just something exciting about two artists combining their sounds and creating a united piece of art.
Maybe I'm just overly nerdy when it comes to that, but I really love listening to collaborations.

Lucky me, because I get to share one with you today and I'd love to know what you think!

- Video Of The Day -
"Half As Good As You" by Tom Odell featuring Alice Merton

When I heard about their duet, I immediately couldn't wait to hear how their voices would mix together.

Both, Tom Odell and Alice Merton, have very strong and very attention-grabbing voices, which is why I think this song is such a powerful one. It's not your average "voices blend together so smoothly" kind of duet (and hey, there's nothing wrong with those! At all!).

Instead, you have two powerful voices that both demand your attention.
They tell the story of feeling heartbroken over somebody who isn't part of your life anymore, while trying to find somebody just like them.

The way the voices duet with each other and the piano creates an absolutely enchanting and slightly dramatic dynamic.
Although the lyrics are sad, the song is an absolute delight to listen to.

Watch the video for "Half As Good As You" right here:

- buy and/or stream "Half As Good As You" -

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

Alice Merton online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify | YouTube | Instagram

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Words: Vanessa Jetwash | Image: Tom Odell

Album Review: "Dogviolet" by Laurel

Hey guys!

Debut albums are a beautiful thing.

They are an introduction to an artist's sound, a glimpse of their vision and an insight into their stories.
It's actually super exciting, being able to dive into a new sound world, figuring out meanings behind certain songs, finding tracks that you can relate to and taking a thing or two away from listening to a record.

I'm sure while you were reading this, you thought about an album that did exactly what I described.

Luckily I get to listen to a lot of debut albums all the time and lucky for you - I'm always happy to share them with you.

Today we're all going on an emotional journey together, so I hope you're ready to listen to Laurel.

Artist: Laurel
Title: Dogviolet
Genre: Alternative
Label: Counter Records
Release Date: 24th August 2018

Laurel is a solo artist from London, UK.

Her sound combines different elements from different genres, creating a vivid and unique sound which could settle down for the Alternative title.

After releasing her latest EP "Park" in 2016, we've been hearing multiple singles to shorten the wait for "Dogviolet", Laurel's debut album.

Every track on the album was written and recorded in Laurel's home studio in East London. Later it was taken to Gizzard Studios and now it's in our hands and our ears - ready to be heard.

Laurel says about the album "I wrote these songs at home often locking myself away for periods of time in order to capture the true mania that comes from love; although a beautiful feeling, it can often feel a lot uglier."

So let's check it out!

1) Life Worth Living
2) All Star
3) Same Mistakes
4) South Coast
5) Hold Tight
6) Adored
7) Sun King
8) Crave
9) Lovesick
10) Take It Back
11) Empty Kisses
12) Recover

Opener "Life Worth Living" enters the arena with a mysterious and dark vibe to it, making a bold and well expressed entrance.
The verses are kept as simple as they could be kept; Laurel's hauntingly beautiful vocals duet with the raw sounding guitar, which is being strummed in an effortlessly cool way.
Although kept so simple, you can feel the combination of vocals and guitar build up into the big chorus. A chorus that's going to stay in your head- percussions, bass, backing vocals and more guitar flare have been added and immediately give the song more grip.
All of those elements stay part of the song without ever making it sound cluttered, leaving you excited to hear what else the album has to offer.

 Fourth track on the album, "South Coast", is as dreamy as the imagination of walking along the south coast. It's a calm and atmospheric track, one that allows you to breathe and just be in the moment.
The calm and softly plugged electric guitar compliments the very present bass and Laurel's hypnotizing vocals. It's the kind of song you could have on repeat for an hour without getting bored of it. It offers enough details for you to get lost in.

"Adored" easily stands out, marking the halftime point with grit and a lot of electricity.
We're getting to hear a more aggressive side of the album, a straight-forward and boldly expressed emotion takes over and lets us listerners get to know Laurel's sound to its full extend.
With a voice that's so attention grabbing, it's no surprise that the musician can lead a track with confidence and certainty.

To sum it up: Whether it's the vulnerable and honest lyrics, the detailed instrumentals or Laurel's controlling and breathtaking vocals - "Dogviolet" is filled with reasons why this is one of the finest debuts of the year.

You should listen to these tracks: Life Worth Living, South Coast, Adored, Crave

- buy and/or stream "Dogviolet" here -

Laurel online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify | YouTube | Instagram

Thank you for your visit! 

Credits // Words: Vanessa Jetwash | Image: Laurel

Release Of The Day: "Head Held High" by Kodaline

Hey guys!

There are artists and bands who just continuously release brilliant tracks.
You know the kind - those tracks that always seem relevant, let you feel understood and spark hope and excitement.

When I think of the list of musicians who fit that description, a lot come to mind - and one of them is Kodaline.

It's no secret that team HITS is always ready to hype up new releases the day they're out,
so today is no different.
We immediately fell in love with Kodaline's new track and we can't wait for you to hear it.

So let's check it out!

- Release Of The Day -
"Head Held High" by Kodaline

Kodaline are a four piece from Dublin, Ireland.

Their sound is ever-evolving, going with the times and discovering new dynamics all the time - but to genrefy it for you, we'd use the word Alternative.

Kodaline are:
Steve Garrigan
Mark Prendergast
Jason Boland
Vinny May 

2015 was a whirlwind for the band; they released their fantastic second record "Coming Up For Air", played tons of festivals, performed with Ed Sheeran and continued touring.

They then slowed down the touring side of things and started writing and recording new material.
Soon they released single "Brother" (and made everyone cry with it) and later on in 2017 they dropped their latest EP "I Wouldn't Be".

Since early 2018 the band has been sharing singles off of their upcoming album "Politics Of Living", which will be released on September 28th 2018.

So far the band has released:
EP: The Kodaline (2012)
EP: The High Hopes (2013)
LP: In A Perfect World (2013)
LP: Coming Up For Air (2015)
EP: I Wouldn't Be (2017)

And today we're get to listen another new track, "Head Held High".

The band recorded it on a rainy day in London - and we don't know how they did it considering the circumstances, but the song sounds like pure sunshine.

It doesn't take longer than 10 seconds for you to realise that the song is here to brighten your day and make you sing along. (Both goals will be achieved by the end of the track, you just wait!)

It's a song about the lows of life; granted not the lowest lows, but those moments that just frustrate you, bring you down and leave you feeling defeated. We all know those moments.
Sometimes "you wonder if you're gonna live or if you will survive at all" and sometimes we all love wallowing in self pity. It's human.

But there are those times in which we kind of want to pick ourselves up and get on with life.

And that's where Kodaline come into play - they've only gone and wrote a song to cheer us all up.
"Head Held High" is that ray of sunshine in mp3 format that we've all been looking for. Whether you are already in a good mood and just want to enjoy the upbeat track for what it is, or if you're actually feeling down and are looking for that one track to improve your mood, this song is the one.

The way the band has combined their signature sound with new elements shows that they go with the times while staying true to their sound.
When we think of Kodaline, we think of harmonies and songs that make us feel something. They've once again created exactly that, but added a few more elements to surprise us.

And well, we're holding our heads up high.

(Note unrelated to review: if you ever feel low, scared or confused - there is always someone to talk to. You can either reach out to your family, friends or to a help line - here's a list of international help lines for you to call.)

Listen to "Head Held High" right here:

- pre-order the album and download "Head Held High" instantly -

Kodaline online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify | YouTube | Instagram

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Words: Vanessa Jetwash | Image: Kodaline

Album Review: "Stay Awake With Me" by Dan Owen

Hey guys!

One of the questions I get asked the most when people find out what my little part in the music industry is, is "So what kind of music do you write about?"

Over the years my answer has progressed from "Oh, a lot! Pop, Rock, Blues, Folk, actually the variety is pretty big." to "Music that feels passionate and refreshing."

To be fair, both answers are fairly vague - but come on, what else am I going to say?
HITS is a home for all the music the team loves, so there really isn't an answer that lets people know what to expect.

But I like it that way.

And I hope that I can always surprise you with the music I decide to share with you.

I'm not sure if you'll be surprised today, but you'll love the music - that's for sure.

So let's do this!

Artist: Dan Owen
Title: Stay Awake With Me
Genre: Singer/Songwriter, Blues
Label: Atlantic Records
Release Date: 17th August 2018

Dan Owen is a singer/songwriter from Shrewsbury, UK.

He is one of those artists who effortlessly blow you away. He mixes Acoustic with some of the finest Blues and Rock elements in the most intense, yet thoughtful way.

Dan has been performing in public ever since he was 13 years, accompanying his sister on the guitar.
At the age of 17, he discovered his love (and talent!) for singing and soon started to gig his way through the UK.
Dan Owen has mastered the craft of playing everywhere which led to him playing 150-200 gigs a year.

His talent didn't go unnoticed after one of his performances went viral on the internet- Fleetwood Mac drummer Mick Fleetwood himself invited Dan for dinner to chat to him about music and offer him advice.

In October 2016, Dan released his EP "Open Hands and Enemies" and has been touring intensely, also supporting Birdy on tour. (We managed to catch one of the shows, you can check out photos here.)

"Made To Love You", the first single off of "Stay Awake With Me" has amassed over 13 million streams on Spotify alone, giving away just how greatly appreciated Dan's talent is.
All of the following singles got radio support from Radio 1, Radio 2 and Virgin Radio.

And now it's time for us to jump right into the review.

So, let's check out Dan's debut album!

1) What Is A Man
2) Icarus
3) Made To Love You
4) Fall Like A Feather
5) Hideaway
6) Hand That You Hold
7) Parachute
8) Stay Awake With Me
9) Call My Name
10) Splinter

Opener "What Is A Man" greets you in the friendliest and warmest way possible; brass instruments happily chirp their melodies into your ears and allow you to dive into the album headfirst. Dan's powerful and smokey voice soon joins the occasion and takes the lead.
Whilst duetting with the choir-esque backing vocals in the chorus, you can clearly hear the strength and urgency in Dan's voice.
With "What Is A Man" building up towards the last chorus and shining in the lights of a clever arrangement and a catchy melody, us listeners get a good idea of what is yet to come.

Once we've had our first encounter with the opener track, "Icarus" is here to ease us into the depths of the album, giving us time to adjust to the serious side of Dan's songs. With vocals this big and gripping, it's hard not to focus on the vocals and only the vocals on every track.
But, although his voice is one you'll remember, it would be a mistake to ignore the well arranged and produced instrumentals.
The variety of elements, textures and dynamics plays a huge part in making the album what it is, as well as showing what kind of songwriter you have come across - a detailed oriented and passionate one.

The half-time point, "Hideaway", is definitely one of the highlights on Dan's debut.
It's raw, it's huge, it's going to send shivers down your spine.
The smokey and heavy atmosphere soaks you in right from the very first note you hear.
In fact, there is no way to listen to this track without the song fully grabbing your attention and holding onto it for the entire song.
Dan's way of expressing emotions through vocals is on another level, making it obvious that he can make you feel the same emotions he's experienced - whether you are in the same state of mind or not.

To sum it up: "Stay Awake With Me" is the kind of album that makes you double check to see if it actually is a debut album.
Dan seems to have already found his sound, yet he doesn't shy away from trying out new elements and it works in his favour. Each song is carefully crafted and plays exactly the part it is supposed to. So ladies and gentlemen, grab your headphones and join Dan Owen's journey.

You should listen to these tracks: Icarus, Made To Love You, Hideaway, Call My Name

- buy and/or stream "Stay Awake With Me" here -

Dan Owen online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify | YouTube | Instagram

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Words: Vanessa Jetwash | Image: Dan Owen via Wilful Publicity

Top 5: HITS interviews

Hey guys!

Today is quite a special day in the history of HITS.

(Okay, that sounded wayyy too dramatic, but let's just go with it.)

Exactly 5 years ago I taped my very first video interview.
If you remember that interview - wow, thank you! If you don't, that's totally cool - let me just tell you about it.
My first interviews (both written and video) were with a duo called Martin and James.
Fun fact: the blog is named after a line from their song "Wrong Directions".

I have been and still am a huge fan of their music, so being able to interview them was a big deal to me.
We filmed that interview on a sunny day in Cologne, which is about three hours away from my hometown. So I've had three hours to freak out in the car and worry about everything that could go wrong. Perfect.

If you have ever met Martin, James and their manager Ryan, you will know that they're some of the nicest people on the planet and they will even take a 17 year old seriously and let her interview them.

Having them be the first band I got to interview was the best case scenario and to this day I'm super glad this happened.
You can check out the interview here.

In honour of five years of interviews, I thought it would be nice to share five of my favourite interviews with you today. 

Before we dive into this list, I just want to say that I have enjoyed every single interview I've ever filmed and I get to learn so much along the way all the time.

Not only have I had the opportunity to sit down with some of my favourite artists, I've also found new favourites so very often.

That said, here are five of my favourite interviews:

1. Interview & Accent Challenge: Kodaline

Dare I say this is iconic? No, I don't.

But not only is this one of our most popular interviews, it's also one of the funniest interviews I've ever hosted.
I am not sure if I've ever told the story of how I came up with the idea for the accent challenge, so I'll do that now.
When I met Kodaline for the first interview back in September 2015, their tour manager Lewis pointed out the Scouse accent I had at that time. We all had a laugh and that was that.

Well, until the second interview came around and I decided to work the subject of accents in there by making Jason and Steve read their own lyrics in different accents.

The rest is available for you to view, so I hope you laugh as much as I did. And make sure to check out Kodaline if you haven't already, they for sure are in our good books.

2. Interview & Song Title Challenge: Jack Garratt

This was one of those interviews that I really wanted to have.

It took a few emails to arrange it and it meant travelling three hours to get to Munich.
Jack Garratt wrote one of my all time favourite songs, so being able to sit down with him for a chat and challenge was extremely great.

I admire his creativity and think he's one cool dude, so I felt like I could get away with throwing in a fun little challenge of reading odd song titles in there.
And it worked out beautifully.

And now everytime I eat vegetables, it makes me think of you.
(You'll get this if you watch the video. Or if you're a Ramones fan.)

3. Interview: Jamie Lawson

This is the third and most recent interview I filmed with Jamie Lawson.

We first met in 2014 for an interview and have filmed together every year ever since. He was the first artist I interviewed before I actually knew him. Before that I had mainly interviewed artists I had met before or knew in some way.

I know I haven't met the entire population of the world, but Jamie is honestly one of the nicest and loveliest people. This latest interview was a lot of fun for me, so of course it is part of this list.

This was also the first interview in which things got political and you'll get to see a lot more of that soon.

4. Interview: Scenic Route To Alaska

Could this carry the title "most underrated interview on HITS"? In my opinion, yes.

YouTube and algorithms can kick you right in the behind when you're trying to share your content, so sometimes the stuff you're proud of doesn't get seen.

This chat with Scenic Route To Alaska was a lot of fun and maybe I'm biased because they think Betty White is cool, but I think you'd actually enjoy watching it regardless.

That said - please check out the stuff that's posted by creators you enjoy, you'll help them immensely - and you'll probably find more music you'll end up loving.

5. Song Title Challenge: Rhys Lewis vs. Josh Savage

So, one thing I love about filming interviews is that they are always unpredictable.

Sometimes they end up being super deep and insightful and other times they're just fun and entertaining. And I love that on HITS we cover both ends of the spectrum.

Hosting this little challenge (the same one that Jack Garratt aced) with two of the finest songwriters was a lot of fun and I love that we made this little collab happen in London.

Now, check out the video to see whether "You're The Reason Our Kids Are Ugly" is an actual song title or not. You'll be surprised for sure.

Which one is your favourite house in the sand interview?

I would absolutely love to see which one you pick - to refresh your memory, here's a list of all interviews.

Before we end this post here, I just wanted to thank every artist that has ever allowed me to ask them tons of questions and also to every tour manager, manager, PR and label - they all do such amazing work behind the scenes and allow people like me to live their dreams.
You're all wonderful!

Of course - the biggest thank you always goes to you - the audience.
Without you there wouldn't be a reason to record these interviews, so thank you for being a part of house in the sand.

And that's it for today!
Here's to the next 75 years of interviews.

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Words & Image: Vanessa Jetwash

Gig Photos: Post Animal at The Empty Bottle in Chicago

Hey guys!

Happy Sunday!
Enjoy your day off (if you have one!) and just don't think about Monday.

If you are looking to spend your day online (I mean... don't we all?), maybe consider heading to our "creators we love" page and check out the brilliant blogs and YouTube channels for quality content aplenty.

Of course, we would love for you to check out our content as well, afterall that's why we are creating it.

Today we get to feature an exciting band for you to check out on this mighty fine day.

Our Washington based photographer Gabby was on the trip to Chicago and ended up taking a few photos at the Post Animal show.

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

So let's learn more about Post Animal now!


Date: 4th August 2018
Venue: The Empty Bottle, Chicago (US)

Headliner: Post Animal

Post Animal are a band from Chicago, USA.
They describe their sound as Heavy Psych Pop - and honestly, they've nailed it - both, the description and the sound.

Even though they formed in 2014 and only started touring in 2017, the band convinces with confidence and dedication to their craft.
Post Animal was formed by childhood friends bassist Dalton Allison and guitarist Matt Williams when they met keyboardist and guitarist Jake Hirshland.
Over time three more members, drummer Wesley Toledo and guitarists Javi Reyes & Joe Keery completed the band.

They got their start playing DIY basements and small rock clubs and soon released their first EP, "Post Animal Perform The Most Curious Water Activities" in 2015.
Staying on top of the wave, they then put out a singles collection - "The Garden Series" - in 2016.

Their bio states: "Between their impressive early releases and their wild live shows which feature the band members sharing lead vocal duties, Post Animal have unquestionably solidified themselves as one of Chicago’s most exciting up-and-coming acts.
Having taken that intensity across the country, touring with bands like Twin Peaks, Wavves, White Reaper, and more, Post Animal have found they are happiest when playing to a room full of fellow music-lovers. As a result, they are road tested and stronger than ever."

On April 20th of 2018, Post Animal released their highly anticipated debut record, "When I Think Of You In A Castle" via Polyvinyl.

The album "is the product of six friends creating music they love, even if the circumstances weren’t always in their favor. “Before this album, we weren't sure what the future of the band was going to look like. I was considering moving to Los Angeles and Joe [Keery] was off filming Stranger Things. We didn't know where we were all going but we knew we wanted to make an album with all of us in the same room,” explains Toledo.
Being the first time all Post Animal members recorded together, the album’s collaborative spirit is more-than-evident throughout its 10 carefully curated tracks. Even Keery, who’s no longer an active touring member of the band due to his skyrocketing acting career, was integral to the album’s inception."

Now, we could give you an indepth review of the album - but we could also put it plain and simple, so that's what we'll do:

Post Animal put out one of the finest debuts we've heard in a while and "When I Think Of You In A Castle" makes us dance, sing and chill. Oh, and swoon over the brilliant arrangements.

Check out "Gelatin Mode" right here:

Post Animal online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify | YouTube | Instagram


Alright guys - now it's your turn - let us know which Post Animal track is your favourite!

Thank you for your visit!


Credits // Words (except quotes): Vanessa Jetwash | Quotes via Post Animal on Facebook | Photography: Gabby Ames

Song Of The Day: "Summer Sound" by ROMES

Hey guys!

So, over here we've already had the hottest day of the year and I can honestly say that I'm not excited about such record.

I don't know about you guys, but it's making me want to sit in ice water all day.
But since that is pretty unrealistic, I've decided to take a different approach to the day - I'll try to be optimistic and enjoy the sunshine.
Luckily my inbox always seems to have my back and today it provided the perfect track for those overly sunny days.

So, let's forget about the sweat and let's just dance in the sun.
(Please hydrate though, babies.)

- Song Of The Day -
"Summer Sound" by ROMES

ROMES are a Canadian-Irish four piece based in Toronto, Canada.
Their sound sits somewhere on the lines of Pop and Alternative and always wins you over with its depth.

ROMES are:
Jacob Alexander (vocals)
Nicolas Amadeus (drums)
Andrew Keyes (bass)
James Tebbitt (guitar)

"Summer Sound" is the band's latest single off of their 2017 released self-titled album.

After releasing said album, the band has been busy touring with Mutemath (we caught their NYC show and it was brilliant) and they've kept on growing their loyal fanbase.

Their previous singles "Tryna Be",  "Believe" and "Spend The Night" have all been more than well received and their latest, "Summer Sound", now has the support from 130 stations in Britain which play it regularly.

And once you listen to "Summer Sound", you will know why.

The track is as lively, bouncy and catchy as it could possibly be.
It's practically impossible to sit still and/or have a bad mood when this song is one - it's got this electrifying and carefree vibe to it, which most likely is going to make you dance.

The usage of fun background chants gives the song such a summer-y feeling. Said feeling is supported by the beats and riffs and is carried by the expressive lead vocals.

So, ladies and gentlemen - instead of reading what we have to say, let's just dance to the track, yeah?
3, 2, 1 - go!

Watch the lyric video for "Summer Sound" right here and feel free to sing along:

- buy or stream "Summer Sound" here -

ROMES online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify | YouTube | Instagram

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Words: Vanessa Jetwash | Image: ROMES via Wilful Publicity

Song Premiere: "This Feeling" by Dylan Cassin

Hey guys!

Well, this is exciting!

Today we're not only premiering a brilliant tune for you, we're premiering a tune by an artist who has been trapped in the HITS gang for six years.

Jokes aside, I am really happy to be surrounded by people who create. Some are videographers, some photographers and others constantly deliver brilliant music.
I believe that having a creative friend group is super important for being creative and staying inspired.

Needless to say, (but I'll say it anyways), I'm excited that we get to collab with those friends all the time and get to be a part of their creative journeys - just like they are a part of ours.

So ladies and gentlemen, here's your exclusive premiere!
You're gonna love it!

- Song Premiere -
"This Feeling" by Dylan Cassin

Dylan Cassin is singer/songwriter from Liverpool, UK.
His sound is walking on the fine line between Acoustic and Pop-Rock before settling down for Alternative.

Dylan used to play lead guitar and sing backing vocals in The Arkanes.
After the band split up, Dylan just couldn't stop making music and soon headed out into the industry on his own.
He has been gigging in and around Liverpool, appeared on a radio show and is constantly writing new material. 

In April 2018, Dylan made his solo-debut in Germany - at our house in the sand birthday show.
He had the difficult task of being the first act to go on stage that night and he killed it.
If you would like to see for yourself, here's the video proof.

"This Feeling" is electrifying.
It's one of those tracks that just makes you wanna get up and move.

The song greets you with a catchy guitar riff which you'll keep hearing throughout the song. Bassline and rhythm guitar bring a funky and lively feeling to the song, while the drums showcase Dylan's ability to craft a song from start to finish, all while also playing with different dynamics in the second chorus.

Every element of the track has its own job to do and they all work together so well, letting the song come to life.

The song also reveals Dylan's talent as a lyricist, allowing his listeners to find relatable words and vivid storytelling.

It's only the start of many more releases to come - but we're already ready for more!

And now it's time for all of you to listen to Dylan's new single before the official release tomorrow.
That's right, Team HITS gets the exclusive listen! Whoop!

Listen to "This Feeling" right here:

Dylan Cassin online: Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Words: Vanessa Jetwash | Image: John Latham

Video Of The Day: "Oh River" by Hannah Grace

Hey guys!

If you could relive or change any moment in your life, what would it be?

That's exactly the question Hannah Grace made the theme of her new music video. 

So I would like to ask you - what moment would you relive or change?

I probably wouldn't change things, afterall every step in life leads us somewhere, so I'd like to think that the past has done alright for the present.
However, there are a lot of moments I would like to relive.
To keep this interesting for you, I'll pick one you might be familiar with.

If I could relive any moment of my blog life, I'd relive our house in the sand gig in Berlin.
It was honestly my favourite day and night of running the blog and even now it still blows my mind.

Thankfully we have this video which allows me to relive it in some way.

Now that we've gotten a little emotional, let's get even more emotional and watch Hannah's new video!

- Video Of The Day -
"Oh River" by Hannah Grace

Hannah Grace is a singer/songwriter from South Wales.

Her variety in sounds is just as wide as the spectrum of influences that inspire the young musician.
Drawing inspiration from incredibly talented female artists such as Joni Mitchell, Stevie Nicks and Florence Welsh, it's no surprise that Hannah's sound varies from Folk, to Soul, to Jazz with sprinkles of Pop and Rock.

Her tremendous talent soon caught Gabrielle Aplin's attention, whose label, 'Never Fade Records', Hannah is now signed to.

Over the years Hannah released her debut EP "Meant To Be Kind", toured with Gabrielle Aplin and supported Irish phenomenon Hozier, played countless festival sets and released her well received EP "Mustang" in 2016.

Her brand new single, "Oh River", is the first single off of Hannah's upcoming debut album and follow-up to her last release,
"Praise You" - Hannah's version of Fatboy Slim's track, which was chosen for Lloyds Bank nationwide campaign, subsequently sold in excess of 50k copies and was played on BBC Radio 2.

"Oh River" is an attention-grabbing and breath-taking track.
It has a simple feeling to it, but wins you over with so much depth and detail - making it impossible to not fully commit to the song. 

The main elements, piano, strings and Hannah's powerful vocals, seem to melt together into one of the moving tracks we've heard in a while.
It's a song you'll most likely have on repeat, feeling the need to discover all the little details and layers. The songwriting, as well as the production allow you to sink into a dream world and give you the chance to go on a journey of emotions.

The video was filmed in Manchester and London and sees members of the public answering the question "if you could relive or change any moment in your life, what would it be?"

Hannah says about the video; "I wanted this music video to feature real people and to highlight the beauty in both the big and small moments in life. I was so overwhelmed with how open and honest people were with us. I'm so grateful to everyone who shared their amazing stories."

Watch the video for "Oh River" right here:

- buy and/or stream "Oh River" here -

Hannah Grace online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Words: Vanessa Jetwash | Image: Hannah Grace (via Never Fade Records)

Song Of The Day: "Black Hole" by JØUR

Hey guys!

Happy Monday!
Are you enjoying the week?

I read the news this morning, and besides all the absolute madness all over the planet, it also said that we're expecting a heatwave over here this week.
I am not too thrilled about that - but I'm prepared and have decided to dedicate this week to sitting at the desk, typing away.

It defintely sounds more inviting than all-day outdoor shoots.

So, prepare yourselves for hot (literally) updates this week.
Let's see what I'll get done in this heat.

We're warming up (literally) with an extremely cool (not literally, but cool as in hip) track,
which I'm super excited about.

- Song Of The Day -
"Black Hole" by JØUR

JØUR is a singer/songwriter from Minnesota, US.

We usually read the artists' bios and then sum them up to give you the quick run-down in our own words.

But this time we would love for you to read JØUR's official bio:

"JØUR is contrast. head vs heart. light vs dark. clear vs obscure. minimalism vs complexity. analog vs electronic. 
All of these elements, often pitted against each other, find themselves simultaneously alive and true in a beautiful paradox on JØUR’s newest releases. In the space between loud and quiet, power and serenity, JØUR dances boldly yet delicately. Her deeply contemplative lyrics are framed in accessible alt-pop sensibilities and beats.
 Songs which ask the questions of life’s purpose or express doubts about the future are yet winsome and inviting as JØUR’s vocals flit between angelic delicacy and explosive power. Pairing electronic minimalism with elegant musical composition, JØUR achieves what is both timeless and relevant."

Now why did we let you read this?
Because it's exactly what we would've written, but it's worded a lot better. 

Listening to one of JØUR's tracks is enough to fall in love with her sound;
it's exciting and it allows you to discover more.

Her latest single "Black Hole" is a statement track which we all need on our playlists.

JØUR's vocals are the one element that stays on the same level of attention-grabbing from start to finish.
While the cleverly arranged instrumental ebbs and flows, giving the track space when it's needed, the vocals draw you in with every note.

JØUR's voice gently tells the story of being in a toxic relationship in the verses, while in the chorus the catchy and relatable words almost act like a reminder to ourselves - all delivered with a soaring and controlling voice. 

To sum this up real quick for you; this track is gold and you need to hear it.

Listen to "Black Hole" right here:

- stream the song here -

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

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Words: Vanessa Jetwash | Image: JØUR | *quote taken from JØUR's website*