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.

Video Of The Day: "My Mistake" by Gabrielle Aplin

Hey guys!

When you really think about it,
music is a pretty constrasty medium.

The creative process can be a very isolated matter for the artists, 
yet in some cases the songs they often write alone will be heard by thousands if not millions of people.
Songs they write about not feeling well, 
can often be the songs that help others to feel better.

You see my point; music is special and unpredictable.
But isn't that why we love it?

Today we're pretty sure you'll walk away from this post with a song on repeat,
so let's get into it.

- Video Of The Day -
"My Mistake" by Gabrielle Aplin

Gabrielle Aplin is one of those musicians who sprinkle everything with pure magic.

Ever since we heard her debut album, "English Rain", we've been hooked by her sound.
Her sound is ever-changing but always staying true to her roots, the singer/songwriter elements inspired by artists such as Joni Mitchell and Crosby, Stills & Nash.

With her follow-up, "Light Up The Dark", the musician from Bath, UK proved that she's capable of more elements, showcasing her rock-pop side.
After touring all over the world and playing festivals, Aplin shared her more pop focused EPs "Miss You" and "Avalon", allowing her listeners to be a part of her evolution.

What makes Aplin such an exceptional artist, is her talent for writing relatable and honest lyrics paired with the most gorgeous melodies you've heard.

Her new single, "My Mistake", proves just that.

"My Mistake" combines delicate vocals with dark piano notes.
It highlights the strength it takes to be open and vulnerable. It's graceful and dignifying while it is honest about struggling, allowing the listener to relate, to feel validated, to not feel alone.

The structure of the song is as beautiful as it is moving; the first chorus and verse are kept simple and calm, focusing on Gabrielle's vocals and the piano accompanying her. This gives us enough time to really dive into the song and focus on the personal lyrics Gabrielle shares with us.

During the second verse we start hearing suble backing vocals and soft string arrangements which underline the atmosphere of the track. What stands out is how you don't find a lot of different elements in the track, yet it's anything but monotonous.

Right after the second chorus we dive into the depths of the song, Aplin's vocals are getting more powerful and expressive with each chord, really transporting the emotions through her voice.
"My Mistake" ends on a calm note again and leaves us feeling understood and slightly more optimistic.

Gabrielle says about the track, "I'm really excited to release 'My Mistake'. I've always found writing a therapeutic escape from real life, but this song gently forced me to be brutally honest. This is a song about finding a strange sense of comfort in admitting to yourself that you're not feeling 100% and completely owning it."

Watch the video for "My Mistake" right here:

- buy and/or stream "My Mistake" here -

Gabrielle Aplin online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify | YouTube | Instagram

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Words: Vanessa Jetwash | Image: Gabrielle Aplin via Wilful Publicity

Gig Photos: Waterparks at Blue Moose Tap House, Iowa

Hey guys!

Today we get to welcome a new member to our team of contributors,
so this is really exciting.

We haven't had a new addition to the team in a while, so it's nice to welcome someone new to team HITS.
It's our promise to you that we will do our best to support music we believe in.
And with this variety of passionate creators we are able to cover a bigger variety of music for you to enjoy.

So today, please welcome Janet Eckles, our new photographer & gig reviewer from Des Moines, US.

You can get to know Janet & the rest of team HITS here.

Make sure to say hi to Janet here:
website | instagram


Date: 17th November 2018
Venue: Blue Moose Tap House, Iowa City (US)

Support Act #1: Super Whatevr

Hundreds of fans ascended upon the Blue Moose Tap House in Iowa City, Iowa on Saturday night.
They sported dyed hair and plaid flannel tops, and they chatted eagerly as they waited to see Waterparks plays.
Waterparks, who are in midst of their Entertainment tour, were supported that evening by I Don't Know How but They Found Me and Super Whatevr.

Super Whatevr, a band from Oakland, CA, were an enganging start to the evening.
Their songs were catchy and quirky, but lead singer Skyler McKee wasn't interested in just performing that night - he was looking to form a relationship with everyone in attendance. He explained that his cousin's suicide was the basis of their song "Someone Somewhere Somehow". He thend used that moment of vulnerability to promise fans that life always gets better, and to stress the importance of being healthy.

Super Whatevr online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify | Instagram


Support Act #2: I Don't Know How but They Found Me

I Don't Know How but They Found Me were then welcomed with passionate shrieks and applause from the audience - and that did not let up the entire set.
Singer Dallon Weekes received an emotional response from even the strangest request - when he asked if someone in the audience could tie his shoe.
Overall, IDKHow's set was tight sounding, and Weekes' vocals were strong and unwavering. At one point, he parted the audience and walked through the crowd, high fiving fans as he went. Meanwhile, drummer Ryan Seaman took over for Weekes on the guitar, much to the audience's delight.

I Don't Know How but They Found Me online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify | YouTube | Instagram


Headliner: Waterparks

Then Waterparks hit the stage with the amount of energy the fans had been craving all night.
The band had hardly made it on stage before diving into their hit "Stupid For You", which one could barely hear over the fans shouting every word.
Lead singer Awsten Knight mirrored the fans' excitement the entire set, as he leapt across the stage and into the crowd.
He wore a geniune smile while belting out fan favorites - and he paused between songs to take it all in. Knight expressed how humbled he was by the band's rapid success, and his excitement to be playing in cities they'd never been to before.

Waterparks will tour North America in support of their latest album "Entertainment" until early December.

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


What's the last gig you've been to?
Tweet us!

Thank you for your visit!


Credits // Words (Intro): Vanessa Jetwash | Words & Photography: Janet Eckles

Behind The Song: "Young Wolves" by Racoon Racoon

Hey guys!

It's storytime time!
I wish we could all gather around a campfire and listen to these interesting stories together.

But since that's not possible (For now! We could always host a house in the sand summer camp!), we can just pretend while we read the stories.

I highly recommend you grab your headphones and a warm drink, and listen to the song while you find out how it came to life. 
Today we're getting an in-depth story, which really allows us to go on the creative journey with the artists.

- Behind The Song -
"Young Wolves" by Racoon Racoon

Racoon Racoon are a chamber folk duo from France.

Léa and Léonard, who have been a couple for eight years, started writing music together in 2015, while they were living in Belgium.
They soon had enough material and released their debut EP, "Our Love's Funeral", in February 2017 via the German label Majestic Casual Records.

Their second EP, "Dawn Chrous", was written in the heart of the Italian Alps and released earlier this year.
Racoon Racoon recorded in Belgium, and together with musicians from Brussels' Philharmonic Orchestra such as Thomas Fiorini (double bass) and Emile Verstraeten (violin, mandolin) which Léo had met while working as a set-up engineer for Ramin Djawadi.

In July of 2018 they released their stunning cover version of Simon and Garfunkel's "The Sound Of Silence" and made us all fall in love with their sound.

Léa and Léo are currently gearing up to release new music in 2019.
To shorten the wait, they are looking back on their past releases and are sharing them with us again.

The wonderful Léa took the time to chat us through the story behind "Young Wolves":

""Young Wolves" was written in the very first days we arrived in Brussels, Belgium, in 2015.
 I (Léa) have been moving a lot all my life, but it was the first time Léo left his hometown (Bordeaux, France) to settle abroad, and it was quite a chance. Furthermore, our first weeks were quite uncertain; no flat, no job for him, we kind of left in a hurry because I found an intership there, so that was our unique lead, the rest followed right after.

So yeah, Léo began to write this song being alone with a ukulele in a crappy flat... Not glamorous at all. Maybe that's why this song is so ambiguously sad, waving goodbye to the past and saying hello to a very uncertain future! In the moment it just feels hard to let go.

Long rainy weekends locked up in our flat in Brussels pushed us to experiment music together...
That was a first in 5 years. We find tuned "Young Wolves", arranged the melody, changed the lyrics and started writing a few songs. "Our Love's Funeral" was the first one entirely written and composed together. After Christmas that year, we started to think about recording them as a minimalist acoustic EP and began to wonder when and where we could record them.

Being both interns at that time, we had zero money to invest in the project... Léo was working as an assistant in a big studio called Dada along with two friends, Baptiste and Marin. We waited for weeks to have the studio empty to start recording... The opportunity finally came out in March: an empty professional studio for a FULL weekend just for us! We set up 5 mics (Neumann, U47, U67) on Saturday and recorded the 6 songs live during a long session engineered by Baptiste that ended around 5am...

On Sunday we did a few backings, Rhodes and Philicorda.
The recording process was a bit done in an emergency cause we knew there would be no opportunity for re-recording. And as a result, it sounded too demo, because Léo just had one classical guitar for the session, the only instrument he brought to Belgium. So he spoke to Thomas Fiorini, a double bass player he met while working on classical music recording sessions for Ramin Djawadi (Game of Thrones soundtrack composer).
Luckily Thomas loved our songs and we recorded his parts a few weeks later, tracking everything first take. Thomas was a real game changer. Léo mixed it in August, right after we moved from Brussels to Turin, Italy. Told you, I have a thing for movings. Our first EP was born.

We've always been amazed with how the audience welcomed this song, to us it doesn't sound the best, because we know, or think we know, we could have done way better. But every single time we've tried to reinterpret it so far, it was a failure, haha.
This track just has a peculiar vibe, someting really nostalic and far away... A Je-Ne-Sais-Quoi that makes its imperfections perfect to anyone who listens, at least that's what we're told. The future will tell us if we can improve it or not! :)"

Listen to "Young Wolves" right here:

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

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Words (Intro): Vanessa Jetwash | Image & Words (About Song): Racoon Racoon

Gig Photos: Roo Panes at Paradiso Noord, Amsterdam (November 2018)

Hey guys!

What I love the most about the house in the sand team, 
is the fact that we can all geek out over music.

The amount of times we send each other links and drool over brilliant melodies might actually be a bit worrying.
But I think this just goes to show that we all bloody care about music.

So whenever you're checking out the posts created by anyone from the team, just know that we all really care about the content and the people involved.

Last week our Amsterdam based powerhouse Saar went to see Roo Panes live.
Of course she came back with a bunch of photos and a wonderful little story from the gig, 
which you can check out below.

Say hi to Saar and make sure to follow her online:
website | twitter | instagram


Date: 16th November 2018
Venue: Paradiso Noord, Amsterdam (NL)

Headliner: Roo Panes

Roo Panes is one of those songwriters where you just have to sit down and listen.

Just listen and enjoy his introspective lyrics and hauntingly beautiful soothing voice. So that's what we did.
Roo Panes played at the Tolhuistuin Room and as I walked in, I noticed that everyone was sitting down, waiting for him to arrive. A very relaxed vibe.

The stage was very low, so it became obvious to me that everyone sat down.
At around 8:30pm, Roo came on stage, picked up his guitar and had a little chat with the audience. He started with the song "A Message To Myself", which I hadn't heard before, so I was very surprised by it.
 I very instinctively closed my eyes, because I just wanted to enjoy the angelic voice and subtle guitar playing.

Roo Panes makes music that takes you on a journey through his stories and stunning musical arrangements.
This night he was playing on his own, but I really want to see him live again with his band - because I think he definitely deserves a bigger venue and more recognition.

The first time I heard a Roo Panes song, was when he did a campaign with Burberry back in 2012.
He played "Indigo Home" and I was blown away by his voice - a voice I had never heard before, a voice that actually made me quite emotional when I listened to it.

After that he did a few Burberry Acoustic sessions, so I highly suggest you checking out Burberry Acoustic if you want to find more new artists/bands.
So from that moment on I started following him.
Big thanks to Burberry and Christopher Bailey for shining some light on musicians like Roo and many others.

As the evening progressed with mesmerising songs, Roo announced that someone had a request to come on stage. I thought he was going to sing a song with a random lad from the audience.
To our surprised, this "random lad" actually proprosed to his girlfriend on stage.
She said yes! (Phew!)
Roo then played his  last song, a great way to end the night.

I left the venue feeling very relaxed and happy.
As I was waiting for my train to take me back home, I just couldn't resist to go on Spotify and listen to Roo's songs all over again on the way back home.

Roo Panes online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify | YouTube | Instagram


Have you seen Roo Panes live before?

We would love to hear your stories, so let us know!

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Words (Intro & Outro): Vanessa Jetwash | Words (About Show) & Photography: Saar de Graaf