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 Talkthrough: "Routes" by Stylusboy

14th November 2019 //

Hey everyone!

Well hello there, today we actually have a brand new feature on HITS.

Online that is, we got to premiere our album talkthrough segment in our print issue - so if you'd like to check that out, you can get a copy here. (We only have a handful left, so be quick.)

The title probably gives it away, but in this feature we invite artists to talk us through each track on their album to learn a few more things about the songs as we fall in love with them.

We are excited to see it become a regular feature here and of course would love your feedback.


- Album Talkthrough -
"Routes" by Stylusboy


Stylusboy is the moniker Steve Jones from Coventry, UK uses to release indie folk tracks.

The singer/songwriter has been releasing music since 2009 and has built a loyal fanbase over the years. With support from BBC Radio 2 and BBC 6 Music, Stylusboy has made himself a well respected name.

Influenced by the greats such as Damien Rice, Elliot Smith, Nick Drake, Neil Young and more, you'll find songs about love, loss and all things life. 

Having gigged all over the UK, including sold out shows and support sets for acts such as Newton Faulkner, John Smith, Lucy Ward and more, Stylusboy shows that he's an adaptable live performer who is comfortable at festivals, at house gigs, all sorts of venues and even a pro at playing online gigs.

Between the release of his debut album, "Hospitality for Hope" in 2015 and now, Steve has released multiple EPs and a live album.

On September 27th of 2019 Stylus released his new album, "Routes", via his own label Tortoise Records.



Steve kindly took the time to chat us each track on the album, 
here's what he had to say:


"I guess the best place to start when talking about my second album Routes is about the vision I had for it.
Since my first album, "Hospitality for Hope", my influences and style has changed and developed from a English folk-ish sound to more of a singer songwriter Americana style sound. I was listening to people like John Paul white, Jason Isabel and The Lone Bellow all of whom are American and have a more full band sound.

I wanted this album to have a different feel to my first one, more stripped back but also more full sounding.
It took me quite a long time to get the songs where I felt they were ready to record but I didn’t want to rush this process. The drums and double bass parts were recorded live in a gorgeous studio called Canvas Music on a farm just outside Birmingham by a wonderful engineer called David Plumb.
My old friend Tim Bowes played the drums and one of the busiest musicians I know John Parker played the double bass. These guys have added so much colour to the album and I’m so grateful to them.
All the guitars and vocals were recorded in my home studio The Truffle Room which is where I do a lot of writing and recording. Holly Hewitt, a wonderful blues singer local to me, kindly agreed to add harmonies to my songs and I love what she has created."

"Embrace The View":
"I was really keen to have this as the opening song and I worked for a long time deciding if the main guitar should be an electric or an acoustic, as you can tell when you listen I settled on an acoustic. Lyrically this song is all about keeping going when things are tough, not letting your current circumstances define you and keep you eyes on what is in front of you."

"Out Upon The Ocean":
"This is the first song I wrote for this album and it was the chorus line that came to me first. I am often inspired by the sea and I liked the idea of using a lighthouse for inspiration so its a fictional narrative but one i hope many people can relate to."

"For The Souls Of My Brothers":
"This song is inspired by the fact my Great Grandad was a fireman in my home city of Coventry during World War 2. One evening he was late home from his job and his family persuaded him to stay for dinner with them. This meant he was late for his fire crew shift and missed going out with them that night. Sadly his crew never returned that night and so this is the story of those feelings."

"All The Details":
"I co-wrote this song with my friend Jess Morgan, a wonderful singer songwriter from Norwich. We had wanted to write together for a while and so one Saturday morning we calved out some time in our diaries and came up with this song. It’s all about trying to find happiness in the small things in life. I love the feel of this song. Tim and John really influenced this at the final stage of recording by setting an almost Motown feel to it."


"Find Your Gold":
"This was one of those songs that was a real battle to finish and changed quite a lot from how it originally started. It’s written in DADGAD tuning and I was listening to a lot of John Paul White’s music when I was recording the guitar parts. Lyrically its all about battling with hard times and sad thoughts and finding your ‘gold’ in family and moving on."

"Keep You":
"This song is about reading Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis to my daughter and wanting to keep her at that point in her life. It’s a fairly reflective song. Musically I was really looking to keep the song as stripped back as I could so the end section really built to a big ending. To me I can hear a little bit of Elbow influence on this, maybe that's just me?"

"Ride This Storm":
"This is one of those songs that just fell out of me! I wrote the lyrics in one sitting and hardly edited them at all which is pretty unusual. It’s inspired by a story from the Bible which isn’t something I write directly from very often but my faith is a very important part of my life. Quite a few people have referenced Paul Simon in the overall sound and I am very happy with that!"


"Open The Door":
"This is actually a completely reworked version of one of my very first Stylusboy songs. This version came out of the jamming during the rehearsals for my first album and I really liked how it sounded so I was keen to explore it in a new way. It is completely recorded in my home studio where I have built up the layers of guitars. I love the way Holly has sang this with me."

"Shelter In The Light":
"Here is another one inspired by my Grandad. He use to go out on his Dad’s coal truck and so this is me imagining what that might have been like. The phrase ‘shelter in the light’ is about the fact they use to have a lantern on the coal truck. It is one of the only songs on the album with only electric guitars on it and I really like the end section that builds and allows Tim and John to really help the song ‘RAWK’ (in a folk rock kind of way!)."

"This Is Where I Belong":
"This was the last song I wrote for the album and I always wanted it to be the closing track. I’d had the chorus section for quite a while but the verses took a little longer to complete. It is very simply recorded with just acoustic guitar and my voice."

"For me the writing and recording is always just part of releasing my music.
I love creating the artwork and my fine art background comes out at this point. I worked with Paula Oakley, a wonderfully skilled illustrator, to create the artwork for Routes.

The print on the CD is from an map of Coventry (my home city) which I felt was appropriate as so many of the songs have been written at home or influenced by Coventry.
Finally I love make my CD sleeves by hand so when you buy a copy not only do you get my songs you get the CD hand made by myself."


Watch the music video for "Out Upon The Ocean" right here:




- buy and/or stream "Routes" here -



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








Thank you for your visit!













Credits // Words (intro): Vanessa Jetwash | Images & Words (about album): Stylusboy

Performance Of The Day: "How To Be Your Own Person" by Kat Frankie

11th November 2019 //

Hey everyone!

If you're looking for a bit of magic on a grey November day, look no further.

We love finding performances online which leave us feeling blown away by the talent and the pure magic of it.
Sure, magic can sound like such a cheesy word, but we dare you to watch to the video and find a better word.

We're like giddy little kids here because we can't wait to hear what you all think.


- Performance Of The Day -
"How To Be Your Own Person" by Kat Frankie


Kat Frankie is a musician based in Berlin, Germany.

Originally from Sydney, Australia, Kat found inspiration in artists such as Simon & Garfunkel, Bread, Carly Simon and more.

With a love for melodies she taught herself how to play the guitar and things developed from there.
She started performing in 2002, released her debut EP in 2003 but couldn't fully focus on music back then.
Instead she made a living by working as an interior architect before then moving to Berlin in 2004 where she found a welcoming music community.

Ever since she's been writing, recording, touring, collaborating with other musicians and has kept on releasing albums and EPs.

Releases:
EP: "Outside" (2003)
LP: "Pocketknife" (2007)
LP: "The Dance of a Strange Heart" (2010)
LP: "Please Don't Give Me What I Want" (2012)
LP: "Bad Behaviour" (2018)

And now Kat Frankie is about to release the "BODIES" EP, out on December 13th. The first single off of it, "How To Be Your Own Person" is already out.


The brilliant folks at small sessions have captured a gorgeous performance of the song.


The beauty of a cappella performances is something that just feels so unique.
Kat Frankie and her group of musicians have performed "How To Be Your Own Person" just pulls you in and keeps your attention throughout.

The vocals are the main instruments and the percussions are the only supporting elements.
Now, just reading that might make one thing it's a very simply arranged track, but it's not. The amount of details and the cleverly layered vocals make the track a magical journey to listen to.

We usually don't give advice when listening to music, but try to listen to every detail, every vocal, every clap and see just how much you can discover.


Watch the performance right here:




- stream "How To Be Your Own Person" -



Kat Frankie online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify | Instagram





Thank you for your visit!















Credits // Words: Vanessa Jetwash | Image: Timothy Wiehn

Gig Photos: Angels & Airwaves at The Belasco, Los Angeles (October 2019)

4th November 2019 //


Hey everyone!

Although we haven't had the busiest of gig seasons so far,
we've been able to cover some pretty fantastic artists all over the place.

It's a real joy being in the photo pit, especially when knowing that there are some wonderful people out there who come to visit house in the sand for those gig photos.

Today you'll get to enjoy some brilliant shots our Los Angeles based photographer Melissa captured for you.

Please make sure to support Melissa's work online:

website | twitter | facebook | instagram


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Date: 1st October 2019
Venue: The Belasco, Los Angeles, CA (US)

Support: The New Regime


The New Regime is Ilan Rubin's solo project.

The musician from San Diego, CA (US) has been writing, recording, releasing and touring since 2007 and his Alternative tracks have allowed him to build an excited fanbase.

Ilan usually plays and sings every part of the work he puts out and has released a big amount of tracks. Although the multi-instrumentalist is busy playing with Nine Inch Nails and Angels & Airwaves.

Somehow he has still managed to make time for his own project and has supported bands such as Muse, The Killers, Alice In Chains and more.
His latest record "Heart Mind Body & Soul" will be released in four parts between the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020. The first installation, "Heart", is already out.


Watch the music video for "A Way To Feel Again" right here:




The New Regime online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify | YouTube | Instagram

























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Headliner: Angels & Airwaves


Angels & Airwaves are an Alternative Rock band from San Diego, CA (US).

Founded by Tom DeLonge in 2005 after he parted ways with blink-182.
Angels & Airwaves allowed him to discover a new dynamic, musically and lyrically.

Angels & Airwaves are:
Tom DeLonge
David Kennedy
Ilan Rubin

Being able to rediscover and where he wanted to take the sound, Tom took inspiration from bands such as U2, Box Car Racer (in which he and David both played), Coldplay and more.

The band has released multiple EPs and LPs, the lastest being "The Dream Walker" which was released in 2014.


Watch the music video for "Rebel Girl" right here:




Angels & Airwaves online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify | YouTube | Instagram







































____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Have you seen The New Regime or Angels and Airwaves live before?






Thank you for your visit!









&






Credits // Words: Vanessa Jetwash | Photography: Melissa Rodriguez | **a ticket and photo pass have kindly been provided**

Behind The Song: "Devil" by SOBI

1st November 2019 //


Hey everyone!

Happy first of November.
Not to be overdramatic, but we only have two more months of this decade left.
Wild times!

We don't even want to think about all the new years resolutions we didn't achieve but we want to use this time wisely.
And the best way to do that is by using it to showcase more music, right?
So let's do it!


- Behind The Song -
"Devil" by SOBI


SOBI is a singer/songwriter from London, UK.

Growing up with music being a big part of her life, it's no surprise that she started writing and performing at the age of 16.
Music and SOBI seem like the perfect match. The lyrics and melodies she writes have helped her express herself and to tell stories.

Influenced by acts such as Laura Marling and Noah and the Whale, SOBI soon found her own sound which always revolves around honesty.

So far she has been gigging around the UK and Germany and has gone on tour with Jamie Lawson.

Off of her upcoming EP, "Home One Day", she recently released the powerful single "Devil", a song that we are sure is going to speak to you.


Here's what SOBI told us about "Devil":

"I wrote "Devil" while I was going through a really tough time, battling with anxiety and depression.
I'm quite a happy and bubbly person and sometimes I feel pressure to always be that way, so writing and playing music has been a bit of an escape for me.
It's a chance for me to express how I really feel.

This song just flowed out of me in one of my darkest moments and it was my intention to keep to myself initially. 

Writing it definitely helped me to process what I was going through, but I was shy about sharing it. If I'm honest, I was even a little embarassed and worried about what people might think of me if they knew what I was struggling with.
Eventually I decided to share it with my band and producer, and seeing how they connected with the song really encouraged me.

And since releasing the song I've been really touched by how people have so lovingly embraced it.

Because this is such a personal song, it was really important to me that the arrangement and production should be just right. I spent a really long time with my producer, Helge Preuß, working on the demo before getting the band involved.
We tried so many different instruments and sounds and eventually realised that stripping it back and keeping the focus on the guitar and voice really conveyed the message of the song best.
My favourite part is in the end with the build up of all the voices singing "show me light". For me that sums up exactly what the song is about: hitting rock bottom, but still reaching for that flicker of hope, knowing I can still come out of this.

Once Helge and I were happy with the demo, we headed to Toolhouse Studios in Germany with the whole band where we recorded the final takes for this track. It was amazing to be in such a well-equipped studio. We were even able to use some analogue machines including a tape-delay for the guitar sound. There was this brilliant staircase that we used as a reverb chamber for all the vocals.

It made such a difference to the sound and it was amazing to hear the song coming to life, layer by layer.

I wanted to keep the video for "Devil" simple and intimate because it's such a personal song. We filmed it at a local antique shop near where I live. I walk past it every day and have always thought it would be such a beautiful place to film a music video.
It was a real pleasure to work with Danny Feng (director), he really captured the mood and essence of the song."


Watch the music video for "Devil" right here:




- stream "Devil" here -


Sobi online: Twitter | Facebook | Spotify | YouTube | Instagram





Thank you for your visit!














Credits // Words (intro & outro): Vanessa Jetwash | Words (about song): SOBI | Image: SOBI via Pon't Danic Music