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!

Song Review: 'Howling' by Adam Barnes




 Artist: Adam Barnes
Title: Howling
Genre: Folk
Label: LAB Records
Release: Mid-October 2013
hits rating: 10/10
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Hey guys,
you probably remember the interview I've done with Richard Walters, an amazing singer/songwriter from the UK. (If not - click here)
I was now contacted to review Richard's friends newest song.

Adam Barnes, a 21 year old folk singer/songwriter from Oxford (UK), is about to release his debut album which he was supported by tons of fans through a successful kickstarter campaign.
'Howling' is the first track off of it and I'm really happy to review it for you today.


Album Review: "Fragile" by Black & White Boy



Artist: Black And White Boy
Title: Fragile
Genre: Folk, Acoustic
Label: unsigned
Release:
28th September 2013
hits rating: 8/10
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Hey guys,
debut albums are important albums:
the artists/bands finally get to publish songs they've been writing, 
the fans finally get to listen to more tracks than the basic 4-songs EP holds
and the press finally gets to discover new music and review it!

And I'm happy to take the press part today and review the record "Fragile" by Black and White Boy.

The man behind Black and White Boy is Andrew Nicol, a folk singer/songwriter from Glagow (Scotland). 

Question and Answer



Hey guys,
a little while ago I asked you to ask me some questions.
Simply so you can get to know me a bit better.

And you did so here are all questions and anwers. : )

I really hope you enjoy it... because it could be boring... I don't know.
Maybe you'd like to answer a few of the questions I was asked in the comments?
That would be awesome!





Song Review: "Freedom Fighter" by TiTOR'S iNSiGNiA


Band: TiTOR'S iNSiGNiA
Title: Freedom Fighter
Genre:
(Acoustic) Rock
Label: unsigned
Release: 24th September 2013
hits rating: 10/10
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Hey guys,
 TiTOR'S iNSiGNiA, the rock band from St. Helens (UK) is most definitely celebrating the release of their single "Freedom Fighter" today. And house in the sand wouldn't be house in the sand if it didn't celebrate along by reviewing the track.

Album Review: "Quite Frankly" by Nina Baker



Artist: Nina Baker
Title: Quite Frankly
Genre: Pop, Jazz
Label: unsigned
Release: 6th January 2014
hits rating: 8/10 
_________________________________________
  
Hey guys,
add cupcakes, sweets, cotton candy and tea then put it all together and enjoy what you get.

Wait - no I'm not writing a recipe - I'm just reviewing Nina Baker's album "Quite Frankly".
Nina Baker is a singer/songwriter who's usually on the road has been a part of the music business for quite a while now.
Getting handpicked by BBC Introducing to attend their 2013 Master Class and beating over 500 acts to make it to the final round says a lot in my opinion.

Updates + Announcement



Hey guys,
I just wanted to make a little statement:
 since January house in the sand has worked with over 50 different bands. That's quite a lot as it's only me doing all the work behind it - no team. 

I'm actually really busy right now. 
(and I know that this sounds sooo like I'm trying to sound important and cool, but I'm not.

As most of you know house in the sand is not the only project I'm working on; I also write for the webzine "Albumcheck" and currently have 21 CDs I need to review for it.
Also I just got asked to contribute articles to another project but I can't really tell you about that yet. It's going to launch in October so you'll get details soon. :)
Of course HITS is my baby and I love working on new projects but it just takes a lot of time.

Get To Know: Secret Oktober


Hey guys,
house in the sand got another cool band to answer the famous "Get To Know" questions.
It's the guys of Secret Oktober, a synth rock band from pretty Birmingham (UK).

As the guys will tell you everything you need to know ... I'll be quiet now and let them do their job. :) Enjoy!

Who are you?
Sebastian Storm, from Birmingham, vocals/keyboards/guitar
Simon Pearce, from Wolverhampton, lead guitar
Andy Foster, from Coventry, fretless bass/keyboards
Paul Smith, from Wolverhampton, drums

How would you describe your music?
Our music has been described as the bastard lovechild of Duran Duran and Gary Numan, which probably says it all! We incorporate elements of rock, New Wave, disco, and synthpop to create our own style. We tend to use the labels 'art pop' and 'synth rock'.

EP Talk Through: "Illusion" - The Nathan Carlson Project


Hey guys,
today I've got a really interesting kind of post for you:
an EP Talk Through with The Nathan Carlson Project

For those who don't quite know what that means:
 the artist who wrote and created the album or EP  talks us through each track of the finished product and explains what's behind the songs, how they were born and what he/she inspired to create it.

The Nathan Carlson Project is an electronic / melodic synthpop music project called to life by Nathan Carlson from Australia.

As today is the official release day we decided to celebrate this by talking you through the EP called "Illusion". 
Enjoy!

EP Review: "Robin Hood" by Louise Parker


Artist: Louise Parker
Title: Robin Hood
Genre: Pop, Acoustic
Label: unsigned
Release: 1st August 2013
hits rating: 8/10
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Hey guys,

Louise Parker is a singer/songwriter from Essex but she lives in Bath (UK). 
After finishing her first UK tour Louise now released her debut EP "Robin Hood", an acoustic pop recording. 

Some tracks are kept natural and acoustic and some sound a lot bigger. 

Interview: Best Not Broken



Hey guys,
I am really happy about the interview I'm able to release today.
The alternative rock band Best Not Broken from New England (US) sat down to answer my questions.

The band consists of:
Eric Jackson (lead vocals, guitar)
Nik Farr (guitar, backing vocals)
John Clifford (bass)
Chris Petropulos (keyboards, percussion)
Alex Petropulos (drums)

Find out what the Nik, Eric and John have to say about band practice, their future plans, toilet-paper guns and a lot more.

Let's just say it was a fun interview with lots of laughter! 

Album Review: "The Orange Line" - Wullae Wright


Artist: Wullae Wright
Title: The Orange Line
Genre: Indie, Rock
Label: unsigned
Release: 20th August 2013
hits rating: 8/10
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Hey guys,
we're on a review marathon over here.

Today it's Wullae Wright's newest album "The Orange Line" which is making us happy.

Wullae Wright is a musician and producer from beautiful Glasgow, Scotland
He would describe his sound as dark Indie-Rock but it seems like there isn't a genre Wullae hasn't mixed into his sound yet.

With "The Orange Line" he shows what experienced and passionate musician he is.

Interview: Martin and James



Hey guys,
as I have only put up the video version of the Martin and James interview I did back in August I decided to write everything that's been said down and post it separately.


Martin Kelly and James O'Neill are two incredibly talented musicians from Scotland. They are signed at "Universal Music Germany" and live in Berlin, Germany. To describe their music they would use words like folk, acoustic and pop. (and add punk, death metal and jazz as a joke.)
Martin and James supported many bands and singers like Milow, Taylor Swift, Amy MacDonald, Ellie Goulding, James Morrison, One Republic, etc.
They released 2 EPs (2008: Bad Dream | 2010 Wrong Directions), their selftitled album (2011) and just a few days ago "Life's A Show", their second album got released.

See what they told me about their newest album "Life's A Show", LA gangs, how a broken finger was the start of their career and learn a lot more about them. 

Get To Know: Mark Mathews





Hey guys,
I'm happy to tell you that another really talented artists sat down to give you a proper introduction of him.
Mark Mathews, an indie-pop/folk singer/songwriter from Kent (UK) took time to tell us some interesting stuff about his life as a musician.

So, here we go:


Who are you? 
I'm Mark Mathews, a singer/songwriter from the Queens own Garden of England (Kent). I write and play songs on guitar and I only bloody sing them as well!!

How would you describe your music? 
My music is essentially Indie-Pop but with a kind of folk edge. I'm into a far reaching spectrum of music, but the stuff that I always go back to and I guess, therefore that heavily influences me are bands like The Beatles, The Kinks, The Small Faces, Oasis and lots of Sixties soul music, all of which have big choruses and are sing-a-long tunes about topics to do with love, going out, getting out of the town or situation you're in and your mates. 

Song Review: "Broken Jaw" by Laurel Canyons


Band: Laurel Canyons
Title: Broken Jaw
Genre: Rock, Americana
Label: Wire-Sound
Release: 17th June 2013
hits rating: 9/10
_____________________________________________________

Hey guys,

song reviews are always a hell lot of fun to write!
And here's one I really enjoyed writing because the song is just a jam.

It's "Broken Jaw" by Laurel Canyons, a rock band from Yorkshire (UK).

The band consists of:
Jake Cope (vocals, acoustic guitar)
PJ Burdett (electric guitar)
France Lahmar (bass)
Arv Teeroovengadum (drums, percussion)

Album Review: "New World" - Tom Mitchell



Artist: Tom Mitchell
Title: New World
Label: independent

Genre: singer/songwriter, acoustic, folk
Release: 27th July 2013
hits opinion: 7/10
_____________________________________________________

Hey guys,

another album review for house in the sand! 
This time it's Tom Mitchell's record "New World".

Tom Mitchell, the singer/songwriter from Bristol (UK) with guitar experience of about 20 years has recently released his first solo EP called "Ruthless Thing" and now he's ready to share his album "New World" with us. 

When listening to his guitar skills it's no wonder Tom worked with artists like Duffy, The Cadbury Sisters, Juey and John Madden.


The HITS Playlist: part 3



Hey guys,
you probably remember what the HITS Playlist is about.
Yes, it's all artists ever featured on this blog thrown into a big playlist.

But the playlist is a bit to big so it's split into several parts.
Check out part 1
and part 2.

Just like 1&2, part three contains incredibly talented artists who are all worth a listen.

So go ahead and find great tunes!

Giveaway WINNERS: Martin and James goodies



Hey guys,
I am soooo happy and sad about this post.
Yes, happy and sad at the same time.



Happy because I am able to make three of all giveaway participants happy and sad because I can't make all of you happy. 

The giveaway just ended and I was overwhelmed about the lovely feedback you guys sent me. I didn't expect so many of you to thank me for doing that. So - thank YOU.  : )




(I did NOT pick out the winners, random.org did, so complain there ;) )


As each of you had two choices - each winner will get either his first or second choice and hopefully won't be disappointed.


Ok without further do - here are the three lucky winners:

Interview: Richard Walters



Hey guys,
I'm really excited about who's visiting house in the sand today. 
Richard Walters, an acoustic singer/songwriter from London (UK) stopped by to answer a few questions.

Richard has been making music for quite a while now, released two albums: 'The Animal' (in 2009) and 'Pacing' (in 2011) and has been played on massive TV shows such as 'Grey's Anatomy' and 'CSI: Miami'. 

With his soothing and gentle voice, writing skills some can only dream of and a great sense of composing Richard Walters is ready to blow you away. 

Find out what he told us about his newest EP, writer's block, setting goals, what he does on a day off and a lot more ... 

Song Review: "Creep" - Emine


Hey guys,
today I'd like to review a cover song.

The song is called "Creep" and it's originally performed by Radiohead.
"Creep" was written in 1992, didn't do well on charts, was re-released in 1993 and then became a massive hit all around the world.

Emine Sari is a singer/songwriter from a small town in Turkey. S
he's been making music ever since she was little kid and that experience clearly shines through her music.
After moving to Japan due to health problems Emine decided to enter the Japanese version of "American Idol" which turned out to be a huge success: as the first foreign contestant she made it all they way to the finale.

house in the sand chats with Martin and James


Hey guys,
two weeks ago I traveled to the beautiful Cologne to watch Martin and James and Amy MacDonald in concert.
You can read a review here.

But something really exciting happened too:
I got to interview the incredible duo Martin and James just before the show.

Martin Kelly and James O'Neill are two incredibly talented musicians from Scotland. They are signed at "Universal Music Germany" and live in Berlin, Germany. To describe their music they would use words like folk, acoustic and pop. (and add punk, death metal and jazz as a joke.)
Martin and James supported many bands and singers like Milow, Taylor Swift, Amy MacDonald, Ellie Goulding, James Morrison, One Republic, etc.
They released 2 EPs (2008: Bad Dream | 2010 Wrong Directions), their selftitled album (2011) and just a few days ago "Life's A Show", their second album got released.

So we met up at the venue next to the River Rhein (which was an absolutely stunning location) and sat down right here: