Audio Interview: Olly Murs

Listen to Olly Murs and HITS host Vanessa having a chat about his latest album and more.

Women In Music

What is it like working in the music industry as a woman?

Gig Photos: Tom Odell

Photos of Tom Odell with support acts The Beach and Jane's Party at Tonhalle Munich.

In The Studio: Jim Kroft

Here's what it looks like when you record an album within 48 hours.

Video Interview: Jane's Party

Canada's Jane's Party chat about playing covers, touring Europe and a lot more!

update: told you so

Hey guys!

- "for all I know, the best is over and the worst is yet to come" -

Do you know those moments in which you feel a certain emotion and then start to dramatise literally everything?

I do.

It's not the most exciting or positive thing to admit, but hey - honesty is the best policy.
So, yeah.. today I'd like to give you an update on what's been going on over here recently.

I haven't done something like that in absolute ages, probably years.
But house in the sand has always been a very honest and pretty open space of web. Those of you, who started this journey with me in 2012, might still remember the topics I used to write about.

And today I'm bringing some of it back.
I want to write about what has been going on behind the scenes lately.

I'm sure some of you have noticed that we haven't been as loud as usual.
There have been less posts on the website and less interaction on Social Media.

That's not because we don't love all of this anymore, it's because I got a little tired.

Tired as in - tired.
Not tired of music, writing or anything.
I just realised I had a bit too much on my plate and it killed my creativity.

I tried to fight the tiredness. And I tried to deny it.
But I have realised, that it's absolutely fine to feel like this every now and then.

If you pour a lot of personality and a lot of love into something, you are bound to feel a little exhausted. 

It takes a lot of work to be present on all fronts - because there are a lot of fronts;
there's social media, there's the actual website you need to fill with content, there are thousands of emails that need to be read and answered, there's a team that depends on your skills as an editor and there are your own expectations.

And sometimes you just end up feeling a bit too busy and your spirit just shuts down.

And in my case, I became a bit hysterical because I felt like I was wasting my time - not being able to be on top of my game.

But little old me found some adult-y wisdom and feels better now.
I figured out that this is all very natural and that there are way worse things than not being the most productive person on the web.

Taking some time away from the busy side of things, has allowed me to be more creative and to focus on photography and design. And it was fun!

So yeah - long story short - felt stressed, had no creativity, took time off, now I'm back.
I felt like writing this to explain why it has been a bit quiet around here.
Hopefully, if you have ever felt a bit hopeless and tired, you've managed to take some wisdom with you.

No matter how unproductive you feel, times are going to get better.

You can expect a lot more posts again and I hope you are looking forward to the upcoming noise!

One more thing - please let me make it clear that the photography, outfit and artwork for this post are heavily inspired by Paramore's "Told You So" music video.
There were no intentions of copying it, just paying tribute to a song that I love very much.

So check it out below:

In case you feel like connecting - you can:

house in the sand on social media: twitter | facebook | soundcloud | youtube | instagram

Vanessa on social media: twitter | instagram

Thank you for your visit! 

Credits // Words & Photography: Vanessa Jertschewske | artwork was heavily inspired by Paramore's "Told You So"

Video Of The Day: "The Bridge" by Chris Stringer

Hey guys!

house in the sand has been running for almost five and a half years now.
That's a long time in which we've heard thousands of songs - actually, I would be great to know how many exactly.

We get to watch the trends and charts change,
 we get to see new artists on the rise, 
we get to stay in love with our old favourites,
and we get to watch exciting acts evolve.

It's an absolute joy to be a part of all of the above and we can't wait for the next years.

Today we're excited to share another fabulous find with you. 

- Video Of The Day -
"The Bridge" by Chris Stringer

Chris Stringer is a singer/songwriter originally from Swansea, UK - now based in London.

Influenced by acts such as Bruce Springsteen and Fleetwood Mac, his love for Folk, Rock & 80s Pop was shaped by some of the best.

Chris' own sound could be described as Alternative Country which ties in Folk elements.

He has shared the stage with Nizlopi, Luke Concannon, The Blanks and more.
Chris has easily built himself a loyal fanbase with his unique, yet comforting and exciting sound.

You can now catch him with his new band, The Rocketeers.

Chris' most recent song, "The Bridge", highlights both - Chris' soulful and soothing voice, as well as his signature guitar sound.
The calm atmosphere of the song allows you to lose yourself in the sounds and the lyrics - you get to dive into the meanings and the details.

"The Bridge" takes you on a journey and once the song ends, you feel like you've just woken up from a dream. It's a rare thing to feel, but this song makes it happen.

Check out the official video for "The Bridge" below:

Chris Stringer online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Words: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image & Video: Chris Stringer

Video Of The Day: "Don't Matter Now" by George Ezra

Hey guys!

In 2013, parts of the music industry were stunned and surprised by a deep and bluesy voice - coming out of a British singer/songwriter in his early 20s.

Yes, I'm talking about George Ezra, the guy who sang this little tune called "Budapest".
We quickly fell in love with his voice and his charismatic performances and had the best time singing along to his catchy songs.

He's here with a new single now, which we might as well classify as the soundtrack of Summer 2017.
Check it out!

- Song Of The Day -

"Don't Matter Now" by George Ezra

George Ezra is a singer/songwriter from Bristol, UK.
His sound mixes Blues with Soul-Pop and Acoustic-Folk here and there.

George studied at the Institute of Modern Music in Bristol and has been making music for a while.

In 2012, he played BBC Introducing, after his song "Angry Hill" was picked by BBC Bristol.
In 2013, George played at Glastonbury and released his debut EP "Did You Hear The Rain?" on which you can find his mega hit "Budapest".

Another EP ("Cassy O'", 2014) and a debut album ("Wanted On Voyage", 2014) later, George Ezra had made himself a name and was considered one of the most exciting newcomers.

Now he's back with a new single, "Don't Matter Now" - and it's exactly what Summer sounds like.

"Don't Matter Now" definitely marches into the cheerfulness of Pop music.
 Carried by an uptempo beat, a funky riff and cheery wind instruments - this song allows us all to be carefree.
The fun chants in the verses, you just can't help but sing along - immediately.

It's definitely one of George's catchiest songs to date, yet it still wins you over with a lot of charm. And of course, his bluesy and deep voice.

Check out the official video for "Don't Matter Now":

- buy and stream "Don't Matter Now -

George Ezra online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram

Thank you for your visit! 

Credits // Words: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image: via Belle Music

Song Of The Day: "High On Humans" by Oh Wonder

Hey guys!

Quite recently I found myself having a wonderful conversation with a stranger.
To this day, I don't know his name and he doesn't know mine, but we started talking about organic food, animals, politics, war, religion and music.

It was one of those conversations, which just make you want to run from house to house and talk to people you don't know.

I find conversations with new people so important, because they fuel our minds, they shape our opinions and broaden our horizons. And they often just cheer us up by giving us the feeling of community.

UK duo Oh Wonder would probably agree with me, given their recent single "High On Humans" is all about connecting with strangers.
So, just to stay sane in this scary time we're living in, we want to share the track with you today.

- Song Of The Day -
"High On Humans" by Oh Wonder

Oh Wonder are a duo based in London, UK.
Consisting of Josephine Vander Gucht and Anthony West, their music can best be described as Alternative-Pop.

Oh Wonder's career started in September 2014, when the two musicians started writing, recording, mixing and releasing one song a month. This led to their self-titled debut album, which was released on September 4th 2015.
Just one week after its release, the duo played sold out shows in London, Paris, New York City and Los Angeles.
Soon Oh Wonder made their TV debut, got support slots on big tours, played tons of festivals, did a session with BBC Radio 1 and went on their own headline tours.

In March 2017, Josephine and Anthony announced the release of their upcoming album, "Ultralife" which will be out on July 14th 2017.

After already releasing multiple singles from the album, they have recently shared "High On Humans" with us.

Greeted by a computer human - the sounds of Apple's trusty Siri - "High On Humans" quickly turns into an upbeat track. It's danceable from the very first beat on and invites you to feel cheerful and happy.

The two vocalists create a wonderfully refreshing contrast with their voices, leading us through the song. You can tell that the lyrics/the storytelling is the main focus of the song.
Very melodic vocal elements are paired with exciting synths and a classical piano based. You can tell the song has been carefully crafted, but has also been given the modern Pop sound.

Here's what Oh Wonder say about the track:
"High On Humans was inspired by a tube journey. On the way back from Heathrow Airport, I eavesdropped on a conversation between two girls who worked in a sunglasses shop at the terminal. They were happily going back and forth discussing their favourite foods. When one girl declared that she didn’t like hot sauce, I rudely interrupted and said, ‘What do you mean you don’t like hot sauce?!’. We then proceeded to have a twenty minute conversation about food, and the three of us exited the carriage high on adrenaline having connected with strangers.

I then went onto another train and chatted to a man who had knocked all his teeth out and was covered in blood. It created a carriage-wide conversation about injuries and operations. Everyone’s mood seemed lifted by this random interaction with the unknown. On the way back home from the station, I sang ‘I’m getting high on humans’ into voice notes on my phone, and sat down with Anthony to fully write it the next day.

This song celebrates the potential to ‘get high’ and feel liberated by talking to strangers. It’s something we all fear, and something we should all do more of..."

Listen to "High On Humans" below:

- pre-Order "Ultralife" here -

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

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Words: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image & Quote: Oh Wonder


Hey guys!

Last month we started a new little segment on Instagram.

The idea was born when I realised how much I love wearing band shirts - they are pretty damn fashionable and oh so comfortable to wear.

Of course, the main reason of wearing a band shirt, is supporting one of your favourite acts - whether that's a small indie act or a famous band. It's fun to express your love for music by throwing on their shirts.

In order to promote our love for those shirts, we've decided to dedicate one day a month to our favourite piece of clothing.

And what's even better, is that you can be a part of it!

Once a month, we will be sharing a collection of photos YOU have posted on Instagram.

Here's how you can participate:

- post a photo of you wearing a band shirt of your choice
- use the hashtag #BandShirtGang
- tag @houseinthesand

- in order for us to share your photo, your account needs to be public -

Over the course of the last few weeks, some wonderful music lovers have already shared their fantastic shirts with us.

We absolutely love this variety of solo acts and bands that you guys represent - it's super exciting!

Check them out below!

Ein Beitrag geteilt von ๐Ÿ’€Mariah Bounds๐ŸŒบ (@mariah_bounds) am

Ein Beitrag geteilt von Belwood Music (@belwoodmusic) am

Massive thank you to everyone who has already spread the word and used our new hashtag to promote all those fancy shirts!
Everytime somebody uses it, we freak out a little - it's absolutely wonderful.

Please continue (or start) to share your shirts with us!!! :)

Head over to house in the sand's Instagram for a new photo every month.

Thank you so much for your visit!

Credits // Text & Title Photo: Vanessa Jertschewske

Album Review: "Bedroom Crimes" by Oren Lavie

Hey guys!

It's times like right now, in which we all need an escape sometimes.
There's no point in denying that the world is a crazy place and seems to get crazier everyday.

Music and animals are my personal go-to escapes.
And I'm pretty sure that a lot of you can relate to music being a fabulous way to forget, to cope, to remember.
Whenever I discover a song that calms me down, I immediately cherish it for having that super power.

As faith would have it, I have recently received an entire albums of songs that classify as "escape songs" - and I cannot wait to share it with you today.

Artist: Oren Lavie
Title: Bedroom Crimes
Genre: Alternative
Label: Sony Music
Release Date: 26th May 2017

Oren Lavie is a musician from Tel Aviv, Israel.

His music is inspired by literatur and classical composers which leads to very elegant sounds, labeling Oren's music as Alternative.
The musician started writing songs before he even learned how to play the piano, which is now his main musical companion.
You could consider his career a very organic process as one thing led to the other.

At the age of 22, Oren spent a lot of time in London where he studied theater, wrote and directed multiple plays and also write the music for them.
He also lived in New York, Berlin and Los Angeles.

Besides writing plays and music, he also published a children's book and wrote music for the film "Narnia: Prince Caspian".

And now he's here with a brand new album - "Bedroom Crimes". All songs were recorded on his own piano and the record was produced by Oren himself.

Please feel free to check out our review below.

ACT ONE - Did you really say no?
1) Did You Really Say No? (ft. Vanessa Paradis)
2) Breathing Fine
3) Second Hand Lovers
4) Look At Her Go
5) Sonata Sentimental #1 - You've Changed

ACT TWO - Well I thought you meant yes!
6) The Passion Song
7) Sonata Sentimental #2 - Bedroom Crimes
8) Something Real (Did You Feel It Too?)
9) Autopsy Report
10) Sonata Sentimental #3 - I Dream Of The Water Woman
11) Note To Self

Bonus Track: 12) Her Morning Elegance

Opener "Did You Really Say No?" features Vanessa Paradis.
The song was written as a duet between and woman and a man. Oren Lavie approached Vanessa Paradis with the idea of singing the song with him. She said yes and also featured in the video, which you can check out below.
It's a very atmospheric song which invites you to dream, to relax. 
The calm piano guides you through the song and stays with you, even when things get a little more intense.
Vanessa Paradis and Oren Lavie duet in a magical and mesmerizing way, giving you enough emotion to lose yourself in this dreamy piece of music.

Another track which stands out, is "Second Hand Lovers".
The elegant strings, the softly humming acoustic guitar and Oren's raspy but calm vocals, all create a beautiful scene. If one thing, this song makes you want to lay down and watch the clouds pass by.

"Note To Self" wins you over with stunningly reflective lyrics - words you should remind yourself of every now and again.
"Never say something you wouldn't like hearing, if you can't be nice- be polite", is one line of this charming song. It's proof Oren Lavie convinces on all fronts - musically, lyrically and artistically.

To sum it up: "Bedroom Crimes" might be the dreamiest, most beautiful record we have heard in 2017 so far. It's a collection of moments that are so magical, intimate and hypnoticing all at once. It's the perfect album for everyone who needs to escape for a while, to just breathe and to be reminded of the beauty we can find in music.

You should listen to these tracks: Did You Really Say No?, Second Hand Lovers, Note To Self

Check out the music video for "Did You Really Say No?" ft. Vanessa Paradis below:

Oren Lavie online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram

Thank you for your visit! 


Credits // Text: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image: via Sony Music Germany | *a physical copy of the album has kindly been provided* 

Gig Photos: KT Tunstall at Barbican, London

Hey guys!

With today's post we get to welcome yet another talented photographer to our team.
I'm excited to have Jess McPhee from London, UK on board and can't wait to share some of her work with you.

We are extremely excited about all the opportunities we get to grab, now that we are a team of passionate music lovers.
Being able to share our gig photos from all over the world is pretty great.

So thanks for supporting this direction we have been taking recently - it's great to write and photograph for such a brilliant audience.

Jess recently went to see KT Tunstall in London and took some magical snaps which you can find below.

You can learn more about Jess by checking out our team page.
Please also support her on Social Media: website | twitter | instagram


Date: 22nd May 2017
Venue: Barbican, London (UK)

Support Act: Nina Nesbitt

Nina Nesbitt is a singer/songwriter from Edinburgh, Scotland.

Her sound marches to the beat of Pop but is still sprinkled with bits of Folk and Acoustic.

In her early years, Nina uploaded covers and originals to YouTube and built herself a loyal fanbase from all around the world.
Her original sound has gotten her on tour with Ed Sheeran and Example.
Nina's cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Don't Stop" was used in a John Lewis advert.

Within the past six years, Nina has released multiple EPs and her debut album "Peroxide".

In 2016 she left her record label and started releasing music on her own. 
Now being signed to an independent label, fans can expect her second album coming out this year.

Check out "Chewing Gum" below:

Nina Nesbitt online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram


Main Act: KT Tunstall

KT Tunstall is a singer, songwriter and composer from Edinburgh, Scotland.

She played in indie bands during her first years of making music and put her focus towards writing songs.
KT has written and composed music for kids TV shows and has also appeared in some of them.

Her breakthrough was marked in 2004, when KT Tunstall performed two songs on Later with Jools Holland.

She has released multiple EPs and albums since and won British Female Solo Artist at the Brit Awards in 2006. KT was also nominated for a Mercury Music Prize in 2005.

KT is spending 2017 touring her recent album "KIN".

Check out "Maybe It's A Good Thing" below:

KT Tunstall online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram

And that's it for today.

Let us know if you have seen Nina or KT before - we would love to hear you thoughts.

Thank you for your visit!


Credits // Text: Vanessa Jertschewske | Photography: Jess McPhee for house in the sand | **ticket + photo pass have kindly been provided**

Dear Manchester,

Dear Manchester,

When I think of you, I think of the fun I have whenever I visit.
I think of your citizens, who never fail to make me feel like one of them.
I think of your music scene, which is unlike many.
I think of your passion for community.

When I think of you, I smile.

You're the home of my friends,
you're a city of dreamers and achievers,
you're a city of music,
 of creativity,
 of community.

You're the place I visit when I need to dream.

Unfortunately right now the world looks at you, because of this tragedy you had to experience.
We all see the pain you have to go through, and we share it.

Some of us feel attacked, too.
This act of terror has taken away lives which have been cherished.
It took away children, parents, siblings and friends.

It attacked those who had just been to a concert, which is supposed to be a happy place.

Everyone who has ever been to a concert, knows the feelings of excitement and happiness you feel, when you get to hear your favourite songs being performed live.

Those young people were there to see their favourite singer, they were probably singing, dancing, laughing as they got to hear songs that inspire them.
And some of their parents were watching them at their happiest.

And some of them did not get the chance to go home.
And those who eventually got to go home, are now wounded - physically and mentally.
They'll doubt the safety that live music has always been.
They'll hurt.
And we'll hurt with them.

"There is not a single word in the whole world, that could describe the hurt.
The dullest knife just sawing back and forth, 

and ripping through the softest skin there ever was."
("Hate To See Your Heart Break" - Paramore)

We share your pain, we share your anger.
We share your heartbreak.

But we admire your strength.

You have heroes amongst you, who have risked their own lives in order to help others.
You stand together - and we stand with you.

We are sending our love and thoughts to those who have lost their lives, their loved ones and all those injured- mentally and physically.
We thank Manchester for showing its strength and its light in this dark time.

You show us, that no matter how much damage they want to cause, 
they won't win.
You are strong and we are strong for you.
We are Manchester.

We won't stop celebrating music.
We won't stop celebrating freedom.
We won't stop celebrating life.

Dear Manchester,

when I think of you - I smile.


If you want to help families affected, please visit this crowdfunding page and learn more:
- just giving -

Credits // photos and words: Vanessa Jertschewske

Song Of The Day: "Fame" by Liam McClair

Hey guys!

I'm sure a lot of you know that music bloggers usually get to hear songs before they are out.
It's a logical part of the industry - it gives us enough time to get to know a song/an EP/an album properly and lets us schedule our reviews.

Usually it's super helpful and of course, as we're all music lovers, it's great to hear new tracks before they are released.

But sometimes it's torture.
Hearing a track before it's released also means that you can't share it with anyone just yet.
And when a song is so good that you just want to share it, that's quite frustrating.

I had that "ughhh" moment when I got to listen to Liam McClair's newest single,
but hey - the torture is over - the song is out today! Hooray!

- Song Of The Day -
"Fame" by Liam McClair

Liam McClair is a singer/songwriter from Manchester, UK.
His sound can be classified as acoustic/folk with raw pop elements.

Most of Liam's recordings are guitar based and vocals focused.
 But you'll still find piano ballads and harmonica instrumentals paired with supportive percussions whilst listening to Liam's repertory.

With strong live performances Liam has convinced crowds all over the UK and even made it to Belgium, Holland and Germany to play his music.
 Music fans from all over the world are drawn to his sound. He has supported acts like Newton Faulkner and Echo & The Bunnymen.

Once you're familiar with Liam's sound, you'll find yourself coming back to it all the time - it's timeless.

Now he's here with his brand new song, "Fame" - and it's SO GOOD.

The song starts off in a calm way, just a soft acoustic guitar, paired with a few moody e-guitar notes.
Soon Liam's voice joins the party and demands your full attention - warm, expressive & inviting vocals are what you get from the singer/songwriter.

Taking an interesting and different approach with this lyrics, Liam tells a story of being a famous person and being overwhelmed with said fame. It makes you think you're listening to a celebrities diary being read out loud.

Full instrumentation kicks in and gives the song more depth and grip - both, drums and bass work together in a powerful, yet subtle way.
The howling e-guitar returns from time to time and plays an important part in the song.

Even though the song has a slower pace to it, it's anything but dull.
Liam McClair has managed to record yet another fantastic track, which is going to turn you into a huge fan.
Embrace it!

Listen to "Fame" below:

- buy the song -
- stream it -

Liam McClair online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram

Thank you for your visit! 

Credits // Text: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image: Liam McClair

Gig Photos: Mayday Parade at Webster Hall, New York

Hey guys!

I am so happy about the growth we see in our team.
It sounds incredibly cheesy - I'm very aware of that - but getting to work with some of my favourite photographers, is an absolute joy.

It means we get to cover a wider spectrum of artists, genres and locations - and that's just brilliant.

Today we get to welcome Sam Lichtenstein to the team!
She's a New York based music photographer and I'm super stoked to have her on board.

You can learn more about Sam by clicking here.
Please also support her on Social Media: website | instagram

Check out Sam's fantastic photos of Milestones, Knuckle Puck and Mayday Parade below.

Date: 9th May 2017
Venue: Webster Hall, New York City

 Act #1: Milestones

Milestones are a five-piece outfit from Manchester, UK.

Combining Pop, Punk and Alternative, the band has created a refreshing and unique signature sound.

Milestones are:
Matthew John Clarke (vocals)
Andrew Procter (guitar)
Mark Threlfall (bass)
Andrew Makin (drums)
Eden Leviston (guitar)

In their songs the band tells personal and relatable stories.
Signed to Fearless records, their latest release "Equal Measures" hit stores in July 2016.

Check out their music video for "Call Me Disaster" below:

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


Act #2: Knuckle Puck

Knuckle Puck are a five-piece Pop-Punk band from Chicago, USA.

Starting out with multiple EPs, honing their craft and building a loyal fanbase, their debut album "Copacetic" was released on Rise Records in 2015.
Combining keyboard elements to show another side of the band, as well as their energetic and loud live qualities, the band's debut album was well received.

Knuckle Puck are:
Joe Taylor (vocals)
John Siorek (drums)
Ryan Rumchaks (bass)
Kevin Maida (guitar)
Nick Casasanto (guitar)

Check out Knuckle Puck's live music video for "Oak Street" below:

Knuckle Puck online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram


Headliner: Mayday Parade

Mayday Parade are a Rock band from Florida, USA.

Formed in 2005, the band has shaped the industry by constantly working hard and making their way to the top of their niche.

Mayday Parade are:
Derek Sanders (vocals)
Jeremy Lenzo (bass, vocals)
Alex Garcia (guitar)
Brooks Betts (guitar)
Jake Bundrick (drums, vocals)

Check out their latest music video "Let's Be Honest" here:

Mayday Parade online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram

And that's our coverage!
Let us know if you went to any of the shows of the tour.

Thank you for your visit!


Credits // Text: Vanessa Jertschewske | Photography: Sam Lichtenstein for house in the sand | **ticket & photo pass have kindly been provided**