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.

Audio Interview: Josh Savage

27th March 2020 //

Hey everyone!

Here we are, trying to bring back some normalcy in these trying times.

Of course we are staying inside, social distancing and doing our part to help stop the virus from spreading and we hope you are all doing the same.

It feels like we are rediscovering the joys of social media. For such a long time it felt like it was dividing us, rather than bringing us together - but in times of not seeing your friends and favourite artists, video calls and live streams have definitely come to our rescue.

In the middle of all this craziness, Josh Savage is releasing his debut album.
So to celebrate brilliant music and to not lose our minds completely, we jumped on a call with Josh and caught up on all things pandemic and the album.


- Audio Interview -
Josh Savage



Josh Savage is a singer/songwriter originally from Winchester, UK and is currently based in Berlin, Germany.

His sound is so versatile that you just need to file it under Alternative.
So far Josh has independently relesed two EPs; "Spaces" (2014) and "Quatre Épines" (2015), the latter showcasing Josh's French roots.

In 2015, Josh played 79 shows with Sofar Sounds - all across America and Europe, in just 5 months. You can stream the documentary made on the road right here.
Over the years Josh supported acts such as Kodaline, Jack Savoretti, Benjamin Francis Leftwich, Razorlight and more.

His singles, "Whisper In The Snow" ft. Alice Pearl and "Ghosts" have racked up hundreds of thousands streams.
He followed up that success with "Blue Luck", a gripping and powerful song which introduced his fans to his eletronic side. Soon after, Josh started releasing the first few singles off of his debut album - and now "The Long Way Round" is out.


To celebrate the release, we caught up over a Skype call and chatted about how Josh is dealing with the social distancing, where and how he recorded the album, how his sound developed, and of course - we talked about food.


Listen to our conversation here:




Watch the music video for "Carry Me Home" here:




- buy and/or stream "The Long Way Round" -



Josh Savage online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify | YouTube | Instagram






Thank you for your visit!














Credits // Words, Image & Audio: Vanessa Jetwash

8 years of HITS

28th February 2020 //

Hey everyone!

It's our 8th birthday!

Usually whenever we celebrate another year of being online, we tend to have a big party and announcement.

And we are going to have one of those this time too, just not today.


In a couple of weeks we will be lauching something we haven't done before, so please keep an eye on our socials to make sure you don't miss it.


But let's have a chat.

We have been a little quiet around here for quite some time and instead of throwing something exciting out there, I wanted to sit down and tell you why we haven't been the loudest and busiest.
It felt more right to just have a chat for our eighth birthday, after all - with age comes wisdom.

So, in 2019 we slowed down a bit, for multiple reasons.
The most obvious one would be the making of the magazine. Since it was just Chris and myself, creating 80 pages of content did take up a lot of our time. While the designing and strategizing mainly happened in the late hours, our days included researching, scheduling, writing and emailing.

Once the mag was out, I found myself in a weird headspace. We got so much wonderful and heartwarming feedback from readers, labels and the artists themselves, and trust me, I was bawling my eyes out reading them.
But I felt like I didn't let myself enjoy it was much as I should've - once it was out, I was wondering what was next - instead of enjoying what just happened.

And I think a lot of us can relate to that, afterall it's sort of what social media tells us. We post one thing, seconds later it's kinda already forgotten and we need to work on the next. That's a weird dynamic.
Sure, you can't blame social media for everything, and certainly I don't want to - I wouldn't have HITS if it wasn't for the internet and social media.

But in a way this led to feeling a little paralysed. Who knew "Perfection leads to procrastination which leads to paralysis." actually rang true? (We probably all knew.)

As for me, posts started performing a little less successful than before and it terrified me. Instead of realising that that's because our readers have lives and also see so many other posts in their feeds, I spiraled into a loop of "nobody cares" and "nobody wants this".

So I kinda lost myself to the pressure of performing well in the algorithm - and if I have learned anything it's "don't do it, kids!". Seriously, don't do it. Create what you want to create and know that there probably are a ton of people who care.

Of course you need to keep an eye on numbers if you want to lead a business, that's part of it and that's good- but don't let those numbers control you. And don't take them personally, whether they are up or down.

You might be able to tell that I'm writing this with a lot of hindsight and that's truly thanks to a handful of close friends.

So as mentioned way above, (I've really typed up a storm there, haven't I?) we have something coming up. It's not completely ready to launch just yet and instead of rushing out something half done, we'd rather wait a few more days.

And I want to end this post by saying thank you.

It's something I try to do regularly, but I just want to make sure you all know how thankful I am that you care enough to even click on this link.


The past eight years have been a wild ride and I've been lucky enough to work with some of my heroes thanks to HITS.

To every artist, label, publicist, manager, tour manager and crew member we've ever interacted with - thank you, getting to navigate through this madness alongside all of you is an absolute treat.

To everyone who has ever read a piece, watched a video or liked a post on social media - thank you, your interest and love for new music is so inspiring and we wouldn't be here after all these years without you. 


Here's to however many more years to come!





Thank you for your visit!













Credits // Words & Graphic: Vanessa Jetwash

HITS we love: #1

7th February 2020 //

Hey everyone!

New feature alert!
We're trying something new!

"HITS we love" is basically a little collection of songs we are currently loving.
In the sea of new releases, it can be difficult to stay on top of everything and give every song its own feature - so with this one we are showcasing a handful of tracks for you.

It was so much fun curating this selection and we truly can't wait to hear what you think!

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"Cinnamon" by Hayley Williams

Hayley Williams is taking over the industry by storm, not missing a single beat.
Of course, the lead singer and songwriter from Paramore isn't new to this at all - but with her solo journey every day seems to be eventful.

Dropping part one of her upcoming debut solo album, Hayley shared the first five tracks to let fans experience the stories the same way she did.
"Cinnamon" definitely stands out with its mysterious and fully empowering vibe. The main message - "I'm not lonely, I am free" - is carried by a funky beat, danceable rhythms and of course Hayley's expressive vocals. It's a discovery of independence and we are so here for it.



- buy and/or stream "Cinnamon" here -

Hayley Williams online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify | YouTube | Instagram

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"No Way Out" by Cobi

Cobi first blew our minds with "Don't You Cry For Me", one of the most powerful songs we had heard at that time.
Since then, he kept on releasing brilliant track after brilliant track. His latest single, "No Way Out", has us holding our breath.

The honesty with which he sings the lines and tells the story of mental health struggles so openly is exactly what makes this song soulful, personal and relatable. Cobi's voice guides you through the track so beautifully and really allows you to connect with the words in the most vulnerable of ways.



- buy and/or stream "No Way Out" here -

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

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"Look Who's On TV" by ROE

It's really no secret that we are massive ROE fans over here, now is it?
But how could we not be? She's a genius and keeps on releasing incredible songs - "Look Who's On TV" being no exception.

There's an undeniable amount of talent coming from this fantastic songwriter - her arrangements are full of depth, her lyrics share stories of an entire generation and her voice presents those stories so truthfully.



- buy and/or stream "Look Who's On TV" here -

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

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"Everything Sounds Like A Love Song" by X Ambassadors

X Ambassadors have been on our radar for ages, their songs have been blasting through our speakers for a while.
"Everything Sounds Like A Love Song" is one you'd file under "absolute stunner". The melody so beautiful, the instrumentals invite you to dream, the vocals so powerful you can't help but listen to every single word.

This one is one of those tracks where every single element just works perfectly and creates a stunning piece of art.



- buy and/or stream "Everything Sounds Like A Love Song" here -

X Ambassadors online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify | YouTube | Instagram

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"In And Out Of Love" by Oh Wonder

We hope you're ready for a hauntingly beautiful love song - because Oh Wonder have delivered once again and we can't get enough.
The rather dark piano melody might make you think that it's a sad song, but it's really just a beautiful thank you note. The gratitude of finding your one, your partner is so prominent in the lines. Josephine's and Anthony's vocals blend together so perfectly and create the most beautiful harmony to compliment the message of the song.



- buy and/or stream "In And Out Of Love" here -

Oh Wonder online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify | YouTube | Instagram

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"hurts like hell" by Wrabel

It's a little ironic that a voice as beautiful as Wrabel's can break your heart, isn't it?
Well, it's the lyrics that really hit you.

Wrabel presents the words with such honesty and lets you basically hear the pain the experience brought onto him. As sad as the song is, it's also beautiful. It captures heartbreak and the pain that comes with it so beautifully and definitely offers comfort in its very own way.



- buy and/or stream "hurts like hell" here -

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

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We hope you enjoyed the first edition of HITS we love!


To make sure this feature is as good as it can be,
 please let us know what you think and what you'd like to see us do with it in the future.




Thank you for your visit!













Credits // Words: Vanessa Jetwash | Images left to right: Oh Wonder, Hayley Williams, X Ambassadors, Wrabel, Cobi, ROE

Song Of The Day: "Time" by Jack Garratt

6th February 2020 //

Hey everyone!

Jack Garratt is back and team HITS is thrilled!

We have been fans of his sound since we first heard "Water", back in 2016.
Soon after we got to interview him and had a blast. His live shows are mindblowing and his tweets are hilarious.

As the cool kids say - what's not to stan?
(Note: we are not the cool kids and have no idea what that means, but let's roll with it.)

Please join us as we dive into Jack's new music.


- Track Of The Day -
"Time" by Jack Garratt



Much like we were, the world was introduced to Jack back in 2016.
He won the industry over with "Worry", "Breathe Life" and "Surprise Yourself", showcasing a huge ability for multi-tasking on stage with his mindblowing setup.

Winning awards and selling out shows globally soon became the norm for Jack, yet it came with a lot of confusion and times of feeling alone and scared. Those emotions and experiences have led the musician to writing and recording his new record.

He just announced the release date for his second album, "Love, Death & Dancing", which will be released on May 29th and is available for pre-order.

Jack says about the upcoming album: "The album was written from the point of view of someone who has a functioning sadness, who has had his day-to-day depressions and anxieties that have influenced the decisions he's made. The album is about that functionality, that day-to-day battle, conversation, tug of war."

The first installment of songs, "Vol. 1", is out now and features the first single, "Time", along with two other tracks which Jack will be playing at his upcoming live shows, you can get tickets here.

"Time" is gentle, yet lively.
It's a celebration of making it through hard times, of hope and of reflection.

His warm and soulful vocals immediately fill your ears, guiding you through the colourful instrumentals with such ease.

Jack plays with sounds much like a painter would with drops of colour.
The outcome? Delicate, yet confident art.  


Each element has its place as they all collide into a journey of discovery. As a listener there's nothing more exciting than to sit down and listen to find as many layers as you can.

It's no surprise that Jack would come back with something so powerful and expressive.



Watch the music video for "Time" right here:




- buy and/or stream "Time" here -



Jack Garratt online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify | YouTube | Instagram







Thank you for your visit!












Credits // Words: Vanessa Jetwash | Image: Jack Wangner (via Island Records)

Song Of The Day: "Simmer" by Hayley Williams

23rd January 2020 //

Hey everyone!

Is it too early to say that 2020 is shaping up to be a brilliant year for music?
It might be, but we'll say it nonetheless.

There's something about that early in the year uncertainty that can feel exciting and refreshing.
We might not know everything the year has in store for us,
but we can say that what we already got is sounding fantastic.

Let's let the new release wind capture us with today's SOTD!



- Song Of The Day -
"Simmer" by Hayley Williams 


So, we assume you know Hayley Williams, founding member and lead singer + lyricist of Paramore, the band from Tennessee that has released hit singles such as "Misery Business", "Ignorance", "Ain't It Fun" and "Hard Times".

The band's latest LP, "After Laughter" saw the band discovering new sounds and blending happy 80s synths with honest and raw lyrics, creating an album era that will be remembered for a long time.

After finishing the After Laughter tour in 2018, things became quiet. The band took time to just be at home and not tour.

Since then Hayley co-founded "Good Dye Young", a haircare and colour company and has been finding new lanes to explore.
 She explains that she needed to write in order to work through things in her life and in the process,  the album, "Petals For Armor", came to life and will be released on May 8th.

"Simmer" marks the beginning of an adventure that will take Hayley on the road. Produced by Paramore band mate and life long friend Taylor York, it's clear that there's no bad blood.

Hayley says about the upcoming record: "I'm so ready and so incredibly humbled to get to share this project. Making it was a scary, empowering experience. Some of my proudest moments as a lyricist happened while writing "Petals For Armor". 
And I was able to get my hands a little dirtier than usual when it came to insturumentation. 
I'm in a band with my favorite musicians so I never really feel the need to step into a role as a player when it comes to Paramore records. This project, however, benefited from a little bit of musical naiveté and rawness and so I experimented quite a bit more."

"Simmer" welcomes you with a haunting synth, a dramatic breathing sound that almost sounds like a beat before it then kicks into a dark and steady rhythm. A heavy bassline guides you through the track, the guitars drive the song while the beat stays steady throughout.

Hayley's vocals fit and control the vibe beautifully. Switching from delicate notes to deep ones, her range shines brighter than before- in a very dark and hauting way though. Think "headlights in a forest" kind of shine.

Some of the most memorable and powerful lyrics would be: "If I had seen my reflection as something more precious, he would've never. If my child needed protection from a fucker like that man, I'd soon gut him, 'cause nothing cuts like a mother."


Watch the music video for "Simmer" right here:




- buy and/or stream "Simmer" here -



Hayley Williams online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify | YouTube | Instagram





Thank you for your visit!















Credits // Words: Vanessa Jetwash | Image: Lindsey Byrnes

Album Review: "A Beginner's Guide To Bravery" by David Keenan

16th January 2020 //

Hey everyone!

If on this mighty fine Thursday you are looking for an escape,
an escape to a sound world you might've not explore before,
we invite you to check out David Keenan's debut album.

We get this feeling of pure joy whenever an album takes us on a ride and lets us lose ourselves in the music. (Not an Eminem pun, promise!)
David Keenan's album did exactly that for us, so please join us on journey of discovering the album.


Artist: David Keenan
Title: A Beginner's Guide To Bravery
Genre: Folk
Label: Rubyworks
Release Date: 10th January 2020


David Keenan is a singer/songwriter from Dundalk, Ireland.

David has always found the fascinating in the seemlingly mundane. That creativity and imagination have helped the songwriter to find his style.
On the journey of finding his style and voice, David went to Liverpool to find Lee Mavers, singer of The La's. And while he didn't find Lee, he found confidence - confidence in his writing, his performing and his ability to sing each song like it was his last, an ability he admires in artist such as Damian Dempsey and Jacques Brel.

His debut album, "A Beginner's Guide To Bravery" was written over the span of four years, embedding stories of the past, present and future within the eleven tracks which were recorded within a week. Giving the songs time to tell him exactly where they wanted to go shows David's ability to really lean in and let his craft develop.

And he's right - there's no sense in rushing, it's just the beginning. Journeys unfold over time.

His passionate performances have captivated large audience including the times he played support sets for Glen Hansard, Rodrigo y Gabriela and Hozier.


Tracklist:
1) James Dean
2) Unholy Ghosts
3) Altar Wine
4) Love In A Snug
5) Tin Pan Alley
6) Good Old Days
7) The Healing
8) Origin Of The World
9) Eastern Nights
10) Evidence Of Living
11) Subliminal Dublinia


Opener "James Dean" prepares you for the journey you are about to embark on in the most gentle way. It's minimalistic, it's soothing, the closer you listen, the more you'll find yourself ready for more. More poetry, more stories sung by David.

"Unholy Ghosts" unfolds and blossoms into a song bigger than the first few chords would let you suspect. Towards the end you are engulfed in warm fiddles, steady drums, welcoming acoustics and a voice you don't want to stop listening to. 
Of course "Altar Wine" needs to be mentioned. It gives us the feeling of driving on the highway past midnight, you're one of the only ones travelling, travelling to where you're going but also travelling to where David Keenan takes you with this song. It's one of the most haunting, most captivating songs on the record.

It seems like David has a thing for starting a song off calm and mysterious, but letting it crescent into something bigger than imaginable. With choruses that make you move your entire body, "The Healing" wins you over with rapid rhythms, intensifying instrumentals and the passion with which David tells you these stories.

To sum it up: David Keenan has managed to create his very own sound world. One that's filled with poetry, charm and mystery. It allows you to go on a journey as you travel through the songs, discovering new elements and highlights each time you listen. "A Beginner's Guide To Bravery" is a record that transports you into another place and time and that's a pretty big achievement.


You should listen to these tracks: Unholy Ghosts, Altar Wine, The Healing, Origin Of The World



Watch David's acoustic performance of "Alter Wine" right here:




- buy and/or stream "A Beginner's Guide To Bravery" here -



David Keenan online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify | YouTube | Instagram





Thank you for your visit!















Credits // Words: Vanessa Jetwash | Image: via Backseat PR

Song Of The Day: "Wherever You Are" by Kodaline

10th January 2020 //

Hey everyone!

Kodaline are starting the year off right.
Ten days into 2020 Kodaline fans are blessed with a new track after the band has been hinting at releasing new music through their last few posts on social media.

The four musicians from Ireland had a busy couple of years.
Whenever they aren't writing and recording music, they are out there touring the world.
(Or filming interviews with us... #1, #2, #3.)

2019 has seen them touring a lot and some more, playing songs off of their latest album, "Politics of Living". Steve, Mark, Jay & Vinny seemingly have found a brilliant rhythm of releasing EPs and albums in between their extensive tours.


- Song Of The Day -
"Wherever You Are" by Kodaline



Steve says about the song: "'Wherever You Are' is a song about loved ones staying in your heart and mind even when they're not with you. I wrote it specifically for my girlfriend as due to being away on tour all the time we never really got to see each other."

The song is a hopeful one, it's comforting right from the first note on.
With heartfelt lyrics and an uplifting melody, Kodaline have once again managed to stay true to the elements their fans love while also evolving and going the direction that feels most natural to them.

We get harmonies, we get acoustic guitar, we get a rhythm section that drives the song and we get a damn beautiful message. The way the song is structured allows you to go on a journey with the band; going from calm and soft to upbeat and powerful, you experience every detail fully.


Listen to "Wherever You Are" right here:





- buy and/or stream "Wherever You Are" here -



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






Thank you for your visit!














Credits // Words: Vanessa Jetwash | Image: Kodaline

7 songs: Liam McClair

8th January 2020 //

Hey everyone!

With this post we welcome you to 2020 at house in the sand.

We are excited to have another 12 months of music discovery ahead of us.
Just imagining how much fantastic music we will be hearing this year is getting us all giddy - and we hope you feel the same.

We promise you to find even more unique and exciting ways to showcase music for you this year, so all we ask is that you stay tuned and enjoy the process with us.

To kick off the year, we are thrilled to share Liam McClair's selection of seven songs.

We've featured Liam multiple times and always get excited to hear new music. With his at times calming, at times rumbling folk pop sound, Liam has found his signature sound with ease.

Hailing in from Manchester, UK, it's no surprise he has been a big part of the music scene up there. But he's not only an essential in the local giging scene, Liam has also won over fans all over Europe with his thoughtful lyrics, warm vocals and comforting instrumentals. He also played support slots for Newton Faulkner and Echo & The Bunnymen, showcasing his talents to bigger audiences.

To share his latest single, "Nice Guy" with you, we've asked Liam to talk us through seven songs he enjoys for different reasons and at the end of this post he even told us more about the new single.


Let's check out Liam's selection!
________________________________________________________________________________________________________

1) a song which makes you dance
"Superstition" by Stevie Wonder

When I was a student in Liverpool, I'm sure I annoyed a lot of the DJs in the bars I'd go to by asking them to play this, then forgetting when they said no as I was a little drunk and asking them again!
I love it and it always makes me want to dance.


________________________________________________________________________________________________________

2) a song that calms you down
"Something So Right" by Paul Simon

This song is really soothing and we used to listen to it in the car when my mum was driving.
There is something about the feel of the song I find so relaxing and the older I get, the more I can relate with the lyrics.


________________________________________________________________________________________________________

3) a song that means a lot to you
"American Pie" by Don McLean

I think I'll go with "American Pie" by Don McLean.
Every Easter as a kid or as many I can remember, my family and I would visit the Isle Of Arran of the coast of Scotland and this would be our song we would all sing along to as we winded our way around the island via the narrow country lanes. It always makes me smile.


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4) a song that makes you feel nostalgic
"Bongo Bong" by Manu Chao

When I was 19, I travelled around Asia, Australia and America with four friends from home.
We had an amazing time and this song always reminds me of that trip. One of my friends made a photo slideshow and used the song as the soundtrack, so I've always been transported to the freedom of travelling whenever I hear it.


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5) a song which has accompanied you for a while
"So Fresh" by Will Smith, Biz Markie, Slick Rick

When I was 10 or 11 I borrowed "Willenium" by Will Smith from my sister and I don't think I ever gave it back!
This track is one that I always find myself singing and I just loved it so much as a kid. I'd never heard four or five artists on one track before and I thought it was amazing.


________________________________________________________________________________________________________

6) a song from your favourite genre
"The Man In Me" by Bob Dylan

I love singer/songwriter music. If that counts as a genre, I'm not sure.
But Bob Dylan is one of my favourites and this is one of my favourites of his.


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7) a song by an artist / a band which has surprised you
"Teeth White" by The Staves

I'd heard The Staves doing acoustic music and their harmonies blew me away, but I always thought they were predominately folky, when Spotify sent me "Teeth White" I loved it pretty much from the start and then the video just confirmed it's one of my favourite songs!


________________________________________________________________________________________________________

What do you hope listeners will feel when listening to your new single "Nice Guy"?

Hopefully they can relate to the sense of wanting to feel like you have to be liked all the time and that being nice is a pressure that is prevalent in society.



Liam McClair online: Website | Spotify | YouTube | Instagram


And that was Liam's selection!
What did you think? Did he feature any tracks you love?




Previous 7 songs features: The Rose Affair | Ava Rae Heatley | John Thacker | Racoon Racoon







Thank you for your visit!












Credits // Words (intro + outro): Vanessa Jetwash | Image + Words (about songs): Liam McClair