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.

Album Review: "Politics Of Living" by Kodaline

Hey guys!

Alright, I really want to use this intro part of today's post to talk about one of my favourite things -
when artists and bands explore new sounds and make them work so brilliantly.

I love it when musicians feel confident and comfortable enough to evolve and create something they haven't done before.

To me, exactly that is art; the process of discovering new versions of yourself and to utilize modern techniques.

We live in time in which a lot of fans are quick to criticize those acts who venture out of their comfort zones.
It's understandable to some extend- sure, if you love a band's sounds, you might want to hear exactly said sound and nothing else, but let's all embrace change.

Today we're thrilled to chat to you about Kodaline's brand new record, so let's do it.

Band: Kodaline
Title: Politics Of Living
Genre: Alternative
Label: B-Unique Records, Sony Music
Release Date: 28th September

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 the the brand-new album "Politics Of Living", which has been released today.

So, let's check out the new record, shall we?

1) Follow Your Fire
2) Hide and Seek
3) Angel
4) Worth It
5) Shed a Tear
6) Head Held High
7) Born Again
8) I Wouldn't Be
9) Don't Come Around
10) Brother
11) Hell Froze Over
12) Temple Bar

Opener "Follow Your Fire" is indeed a fantastic opener.
It showcases the Kodaline we know in the verses, but allows us to get to know the new elements of the band's sound in the choruses.
And we truly think of the new sound as an addition, rather than a change. They've still got the elements we fell in love with years ago and "Politics Of Living" is the perfect proof for that.

"Worth It" is infectious.
It's probably going to get you to click your fingers and sing along in no time. There's something anthem-like about the track that just soaks you in.
Instead of solely relying on the new electronic sounds, they have used multiple layers and have created a colourful track in the process.
Whether it's the piano, the guitar riffs, the bassline or the guiding drums - the band has seemingly effortlessly combined their strengths with their need to evolve.

If you have seen Kodaline live, one thing you've probably noticed is how in sync the band is; they work in unison and that's a super prominent element of their sound.

Does anyone else remember when we all cried our eyes out to the band's music video for "Brother"?
Yeah, that was an emotional day, wasn't it?
Well, even though we were already familiar with the song, it still wows us.
It's the melody, the rhythm and of course the intensity of their combined harmonies. It's the way they tell stories. 

There's one track one the album which made my jaw drop to the floor - it's number 11, "Hell Froze Over".
They almost spit the lyrics in the pre-chorus, right before singer Steve belts out all of his emotions and you can  l i t e r a l l y  feel the frustration.
Soaring electric guitars help carrying the emotion of the track, while the beats and bass tie it all together. It's tracks like this that really show how versatile Kodaline are - and how damn good they are at writing relatable songs.

To sum it up: When we think of Kodaline, we think of the most creative acoustic sessions, harmonies and songs that transport emotions.
"Politics Of Living" includes all of that- but doesn't stop there. The band has ventured out into the electronic side of music and they've combined those elements with their signature sound in such elegant way.

The album is a brilliant mix of new sounds and old comforts, fantastic arragements, impressive musical talent and an incredible production.

You should listen to these tracks: Worth It, I Wouldn't Be, Brother, Hell Froze Over

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

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Words: Vanessa Jetwash | Image: Kodaline

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:

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