#HITSBC17


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!

Monthly Review: October 2014



Hey guys!

 October is over. This makes me kind of sad because October is my favourite month of the year.
Why? Pretty sunsets, brilliant gigs and for some reason I always get to do the coolest stuff for the blog in October.
But hey, we'll meet again... in a year.

Here's what October was like on house in the sand!

Artists featured on house in the sand:
The Glass Child

What I enjoyed doing for HITS:
- creating an Autumn playlist
- releasing the official trailer for #HITSBC15
- going on stage with The Arkanes

Iteams which made me happy:
- my new desk (nerdy journalist...)
- AAA passes ;)

Highlights: 
- hitting 600 000 and 700 000 page views! AHHHH!
- filming a few videos for #HITSBC15

What I've learned:
 - that my obsession with Hydrangeas is probably unhealthy
- the first chords of Hozier's "Cherry Wine"

Songs I've loved (and still love!):
"Part II" by Paramore
"Louisa" by Keeva

Comment of the month:
"Hozier's new album is incredible, absolutely obsessed with his voice. If you haven't seen him live, its a must! Blown away by his SNL performance." - Comment by Emy on "Album Review: "Hozier" by Hozier"

Photograph of the month:

What I'm looking forward to in November:
- more #HITSBC15 work
- a lot of editing and writing
- ginger bread


And that's it! Another month is over and reviewed.
Thank you a lot for choosing to spend October with us! :)


Thank you for reading!





Credits // Text & Photography: Vanessa Jertschewske
 

Album Review: "1989" by Taylor Swift


Hey guys!

Music has always been a motivation for me.
In first grade I wanted to learn how to read (and write!) just so I could read the articles about my favourite band. I started this blog because I wanted to share music.
It's quite obvious that my taste has changed over the years.

Believe it or not but I was quite the Taylor Swift fan years ago.
That's probably why I was really curious what her new record would sound like. Since I took the time to listen to it - I thought why not review it? 

Artist: Taylor Swift
Title: 1989
Genre: Pop
Label: Big Machine Records
Release: 27th October 2014
hits rating: 7/10

Taylor Swift is probably know world wide. With seven Grammys, hundreds of other awards and even roles in movies there is nothing she hasn't done.
Except a change of her music direction.

It seems like Miss Swift likes a good challenge and presents a complete pop album with "1989". Goodbye country, for now!

Tracklist:
1. Welcome To New York
2. Blank Space
3. Style
4. Out Of The Woods
5. All You Had To Do Was Stay
6. Shake It Off
7. I Wish You Would
8. Bad Blood
9. Wildest Dreams
10. How You Get The Girl
11. This Love
12. I Know Places
13. Clean

Opener "Welcome To New York" is a bit of a shocker - there seem to be more synth elements than anything else. It's a full on pop tune, a love song dedicated to Swift's home town of choice, New York. There is no other song which presents the genre change as much as this one. It's a little bit too much though.

"Style" is definitely one of the highlights on the record. A catchy guitar riff combined with mysterious beats and just the right amount of synths create a brilliant atmospheric tune. Taylor's writing has always been really visual and story telling. On this album you can clearly hear how they matured and got even more precise.

Born in 1989 Swift says the 80s had an impact on this album. "Bad Blood" mixes those 80s elements with modern pop sounds. The girly chants definitely march into the "vintage" direction, the beats keep it danceable. The lyrics describe and transport her feelings oh so well.

To sum it up: If you're familiar with Taylor's old sound you'll probably have to listen to the songs a few times in a row to get used to them. Once you are, you'll notice a lot of details which absolutely convince that she created a really good record.

You should listen to these tracks: Style, Bad Blood, Blank Space, Out Of The Woods



Taylor Swift online: Website | Twitter | Facebook


Thank you for reading!




Credits // Text: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image: Taylor Swift Press Kit

Album Review: "Golden Road" by Laney Jones


Hey guys!

The last few weeks were rock'n'roll for me. In every way. Especially the music I surrounded myself with was rock. And yeah, I probably would say that rock is my favourite genre, nonetheless I love the variety the music scene offers.
After some energetic weeks it feels quite nice to put some calmer tunes into the CD player and just get a different atmosphere going.

That's why today I'm reviewing Laney Jones' record "Golden Road".

Artist: Laney Jones
Title: Golden Road
Genre: Folk, Country
Label: Independent
Release: 12th July 2013
hits rating: 8/10

Laney Jones is a singer/songwriter from Florida, USA. Her contantly being on the road and gigging her way along the East Coast has gotten herself a good name. Live performances seem to be her thing and so it's no miracle she supported Lady Antebellum, Tim McGraw and other country artists.

With her debut "Golden Road" Miss Jones shows what she has to offer.

Tracklist: 
1) Broken Hearts
2) Devil Down
3) Black Coffee
4) Child Of The Beast
5) Rise No More
6) Pour Out The Whiskey
7) Rock-a-Bye Sea
8) Nothing At All
9) Shallow Pockets
10) Livin' For Today

"Broken Hearts" is the song which welcomes you on the record. It's a calm folky tune, the country elements are present but keep quiet most of the time.
"Devil Down" can easily be entitled as one of the highlights the album offers; the americana/country sound works oh so well with Laney's warm and slightly jazzy vocals. The howling harmonica gives the song more edges and even gets a little duet with the e-guitar. Fantastic tune!

"Rise No More" gets a bit more mysterious, more atmospheric. The up beat rhythm keeps the song busy but not too crowded. It's swinging, moveable and catchy.

Laney's voice is warm, expressive and strong. It definitely suits the country direction. She sings the songs in such honest and genuine manner that you can't help but feel the emotions she felt while writing the songs.

To sum it up: Even though Laney Jones has her very own style and sticks with it throughout the entire album, she still manages to keep the variety wide and interesting. Her voice and the clever instrumentations make every song worth listen to.

You should listen to these tracks: Devil Down, Rise No More, Livin' For Today




Laney Jones online:
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud


Thank you for reading!






Credits // Text: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image: Laney Jones

Stage Time With: The Arkanes



Hey guys!

Have you ever wondered what it looks like from a band's perspective to walk on stage and play a gig?
If you did and still are curious - well well, then today's your lucky day!

Last week I followed The Arkanes on their way from their dressing room backstage to the stage and filmed everything for you. 

The Arkanes are a rock band from Liverpool, UK.
Formed in 2007 the band has gone through two lineup changes and now consists of:
Chris Pate (lead vocals, guitar)
Dylan Cassin (lead guitar, backing vocals)
Andy Long (drums)
Jake Hallam (bass, backing vocals)
With an EP out ("Don't Act Like You Don't Know Me") they've already built a loyal and world wide fanbase. Debut album "W.A.R" took everything to another level - touring Germany supporting acts like The Rifles, Monster Truck and now Blues Pills.


Here's the video! Enjoy watching the band go on stage. ;)



The Arkanes online:
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud


Thank you for reading!




More of The Arkanes on house in the sand: Video Interview | Album Review | Behind The Scenes | Gig Impressions




Credits // Text, Photography & Videography: Vanessa Jertschewske

A post from the heart



 Hey guys!

A while ago I was told something I never expected to hear from a blog reader. An absolutely wonderful guy messaged me saying some of my old posts have helped him to gain more confidence and more motivation for what he wants to do.

His message touched me so much and really made me think a lot. I realized I haven't written a blogpost directly from the heart for a while. Don't get me wrong, I love every single post on here and always try to give my best.
But you know ... I kind of kept the ones you could entitle as "cheesy" for my Facebook/Twitter posts.

I think being able to inspire people to believe in themselves is the most incredible thing I could do on here, so if this post helps just one of you - my mission is accompolished.

I'd like to talk about doing what you love as a job. This is quite a complicated topic as there are so many interpretations for it.
But the main thing I want to talk about is being brave enough to do what YOU love and not what others expect you to do.

Do you remember your first day of school? You probably were quite ambitious to learn everything it takes to become a fire fighter, a vet, maybe a teacher. You probably had a typical childhood dream job in mind, but YOU got it into YOUR mind. Nobody else did.
For example - I wanted to be a private detective because I once saw a really cool guy on TV who did exactly that job.

Over the years interests change - and that's absolutely okay. But the older we get the more things influence us and our way of thinking, our choices. The important thing is it to keep in mind what makes you happy.

When I finished school I knew I wanted to be a journalist, I just wasn't so sure which way was the right one to approach it. So I let other people tell me what to do and ended up at a school I wasn't happy with at all. After a few months of being frustrated I decided to change things. I looked up other ways, did a lot of research and then took my final step towards the right way for me.

I am now the happiest girl when it comes to working and I can only encourage you to do what you love.
Of course I know that money is also a big part of this decision and that in life you have to do things you don't enjoy. But if there's a will - there's a way.
So believe in yourself and your skills, work on them, embrace what makes you happy and accept what doesn't - just don't torture yourself for other people.

I am lucky enough to have a mum who supports me no matter what but I know myself how family can also destroy your dreams.
And it's true - you can't choose your family, but you sure can choose your friends. 
There are so many negative people in this world who want to bring you down and don't ever want you to succeed. 

A few years ago people used to make fun of me because I only listened to "bands nobody knows or cares about". Well, now those bands are my friends and they are taking over the world, step by step.
 I finally found people with dreams similar to mine, people who are supportive and honest with me.
If there are people who support you, everything you do will be so much easier to do. Trust me!

Well, I probably just completely lost my line and just let out a lot of random stuff.

I hope you enjoyed this post nonetheless, maybe it even helped you.

Just keep in mind that there are a lot of people who believe in you. The most important one to do so is always with you - it's yourself.


Thank you for reading!
We'll be back with music writings tomorrow! ;)





Credits // Text & Photography: Vanessa Jertschewske

Gig Impressions: The Arkanes in Berlin


 

Hey guys!

Sometimes things fall into place in such perfect ways it's almost scary.
I just got back from Berlin. I had this trip planned for quite a while when The Arkanes announced their tour dates supporting Blues Pills and The Vintage Caravan.
Faith would have it they were playing in B-Town the day I arrived.

So I took my camera (and my other camera, two tripods, mics,...) and went to see them. 
I am actually really happy with how the footage we produced turned out and can't wait to show you everything.
Whilst I'm still cutting and editing the video, you can already have a look at the photographs I took.

Hope you enjoy!





This was the fourth time I saw them live this year and it's actually amazing to see how they're getting better each time.
I had a little chat with Dylan about his backing vocals; at the beginning of the year he was just the second backing voice but now with a lineup change in the band he has to do most backings on his own. In my opinion his voice improved a lot and this is just an example of how the band is always working hard on their stage presence.






Even though it was just a 30 minutes set and I was really focused on taking pics and filming, I still took some time to watch the crowd. The Berlin crowd was really into it and had such a great time. 
Whilst walking through the crowd to take pics I had quite a hard time not getting crushed but let's just take this as passionate listeners.





As mentioned early, the band had a lineup change and are now with a new bassist, Jake Hallam.
I was really curious how they would manage it because it's obviously a new situation.
But all members play together so well and it's a lot of fun to watch them. Each of them is really into it and 100% passionate about what they're doing.

 



Kanes, once again - chapeau! Always good to see and hear you on stage.

I hope you all enjoyed those pics and that you're excited for what's yet to come. :)


The Arkanes online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud


Thank you for reading!





Credits // Text & Photography: Vanessa Jertschewske (aka V Jetwash)

Song Of The Day: "Taped Off The Radio" by The Ragamuffins

 

Hey guys!

I have to admit, I really enjoy the "Song Of The Day" features; they are fun to write, they don't require loads of research and they spread the word about one good tune at a time.


Today's song of the day is "Taped Off The Radio" by The Ragamuffin, a six piece band from Liverpool, England. Founded in 2007 the band has been around for quite a while and has established a loyal fanbase as well as their very own indie-pop sound.

The Ragamuffins are: 
David John Jaggs (vocals, guitar)
Sam Parry (keyboards, piano, baritone saxophone, backing vocals)
Florin Ciurarin (trumpet, flugel horn, backing vocals)
Xavier Winton (drums, percussions, trumpet)
Ed Feery (trombone, backing vocals)
Alex Pearson (bass)




 "Taped Off The Radio" starts off as a rather calm and slightly groovy tune. The band's signature sound is very present yet there's still something new about the song.

The Ragamuffins know how to turn build up a song from a calm one to a hell of a groovy and catchy one. Vocals and the backings are on point, especially during the chorus.
A super catchy guitar riff burns itself into your brain, the bassline controls your movements and the wind instruments make you boogie. As usual the band's lyric game is strong.
This song is so good - it's addictive!


The Ragamuffins online: Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud



Thank you for reading! :)





Credits // Text: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image: The Ragamuffins


Album Review: "Hozier" by Hozier


 

 Hey guys!

A little while ago Sony sent me the "Wish I Was Here" Soundtrack and I reviewed it. One of the songs soaked me in so much that I just had to find out more about the artist behind it.

It was "Cherry Wine" by Hozier. Luck was on my side and Hozier just released his debut album.

 Artist: Hozier
Title: Hozier
Genre: Folk-Rock, Soul
Label: Rubyworks/Island // Universal
Release: 3rd October 2014
hits rating: 9.5/10

Andrew Hozier-Byrne is singer/songwriter from Ireland.
He's been part of the choir AnĂșna for a while and started his solo career in 2012. His debut single "Take Me To Church" did very well, not only in Ireland but also around the world. The anti-gay critical music video caused a lot of attention on the internet.
His first EP, also titled as "Take Me To Chruch" contains four songs which you'll also find on his debut record, "Hozier".

Tracklist:
1. Take Me To Church
2. Angel Of Small Death & The Codeine Scene
3. Jackie And Wilson
4. Someone New
5. To Be Alone
6. From Eden
7. In A Week (feat. Karen Cowley)
8. Sedated
9. Work Song
10. Like Real People Do
11. It Will Come Back
12. Foreigner's God
13. Cherry Wine (live)

Opener "Take Me To Church" seems to be everywhere at the moment. Well deserved, though!
The song convinces with incredible lyrics consisting of a few metaphors and critical words. You can find some amazing interpretations online, make sure to look them up. Those lyrics deserve an award.

Not only does Hozier write fantastic lyrics, he also knows how to compose a song in such original ways. Follow-up "Angel Of Small Death & The Codeine Scene" gets groovy and makes you want to dance. It seems Hozier likes using multi-layered choruses and raw guitar riffs combined with folky beats.

What really stands out is his warm and powerful voice. Hozier is that kind of guy who could make the phone book interesting by singing all words. "Work Song" presents his vocals in all facets - from his "normal", rather deep voice to higher notes and calming yet expressive vocals.

To sum it up: I had a really tough time putting Hozier into a genre. Fact is - you can't. He could be classified as folk-rock but there are so many other elements such as blues and even gospel. A fantastic singer, an even better songwriter and a genius of a composer.
He's up for a bright career and we're in for a treat!

You should listen to these tracks: Take Me To Church, Angel Of Small Death & The Codeine Scene, It Will Come Back



 
 Hozier online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube



Thank you for reading!





Credits // Text: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image: Hozier Press Kit

#HITSBC15 + official trailer



Hey guys!

The official hashtag, logo and trailer for our Birthday Countdown 2015 are born!

From now on you can find whatever happens before, during and after the countdown by searching the hashtag #HITSBC15 (also #hitsbc15) on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
(HITSBC15 = house in the sand Birthday Countdown 2015)

I won't share the final and complete lineup but all acts are allowed to share their recording process by using the hashtag. If you want to find out who's going to sing us a song you can always check the hashtag and pretend to be Sherlock Holmes. ;)

To make using hashtags more fun than it already is, I decided to start a little competition for you guys.
Everyone who uses the hashtag is in for winning lots of amazing and personalized prizes.

Since February is still really far away I also decided to shorten the time by hosting some games every now and then. Don't worry, nothing too complicated, just some fun activities to already get into the birthday spirit. (Can't do that early enough, right?)

You can watch the official trailer for the countdown here, right now!

(The trailer obviously consists of snippets from this year's countdown. ;) )



To sum it up: use the hashtag #HITSBC15 and be part of the coolest project. :)

This is not a competition but if you could share this post, the logo or the trailer on your social media pages - that'd be bloody amazing. 


Thank you for allowing me to do such cool stuff. : )




Credits // Text, Photography & Videography: Vanessa Jertschewske

Gig Impressions: The Arkanes in Ludwigsburg


Hey guys!

Those of you who follow me on instagram already know what I was up to last night:
I stood in the middle of a massive crowd where the men had hair longer than mine, climbed up a ladder and got a bit sweaty.
Short: I photographed my friends The Arkanes in concert.

For those of you who don't know them (I'm sure you're new to the blog...):
The Arkanes are a rock band from Liverpool, UK.

Formed in 2007 the band has gone through two lineup changes and now consists of:
Chris Pate (lead vocals, guitar)
Dylan Cassin (lead guitar, backing vocals)
Andy Long (drums)
Jake Hallam (bass, backing vocals)

With an EP out ("Don't Act Like You Don't Know Me") they've already built a loyal and world wide fanbase. Debut album "W.A.R" took everything to another level - touring Germany supporting acts like The Rifles, Monster Truck and now Blues Pills.

All photos below were taken at Rockfabrik Ludwigsburg, Germany on October 8th 2014.


Their set blew me away. I've seen them play a couple of times and fell for the music when I heard live - but me oh my - they took things to another level yesterday!
The whole performance seemed spot on but not in a rehearsed kind of way, more in a passionate and driven kind of way.
You could tell that each member is absolutely into what they're doing and that's such a joy to watch.


The crowd was just as into it as the band; clapping, cheering, head banging - The Arkanes received some great reactions.
Whilst making my way through the crowd I heard so many people go "Oh, they are fantastic!" and "What are they called again? Need to check them out!"
What kind of fifth member would I be if I didn't stop every single time to tell them the band name and where to find them online?!


Those of you who know a bit more about house in the sand also know that I care a lot of about live shows. My favourite way to listen to music is live. So I also need bands to sound like they do on their records - otherwise it'll be a huge disappointment.

What I love about The Arkanes is that they absolutely do sound great live and also add some instrumentals, etc.
I think I love the live version of their new single "Command.Turn.Revolt" a bit too much.


As I'm writing these lines I'm listening to their album. I am convinced that the future of handmade rock music belongs to bands like The Arkanes. They've got so much talent and they know how to use it. They'll blow up soon.
(And then I'll run around saying "told you sooo!" because I can.)


It wouldn't be a house in the sand post if there weren't some cheesy words.

Kanesies- I'm absolutely honoured I get to work and also be friends with such talented and lovely guys like you. It really makes me happy to see you doing so well because you absolutely deserve it.
Can't wait to see what the future holds!

Note: even though Dylan is not on the pic - he's still cool!



The Arkanes online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud


Thank you for reading!




More of The Arkanes on house in the sand: Video Interview | Album Review | Behind The Scenes




Credits // Text & Photography: Vanessa Jertschewske