Women In Music

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

Video Interview: Josh Savage

We jumped on a boat in London and had a chat about "Ghosts", setbacks and more.

7 Songs: Savannah Outen

The talented Savannah talks us through seven songs and seven emotions.

Video Interview: Rhys Lewis

Check out this little chat about polaroids, important messages in songs and more.

#BandShirtGang

Join house in the sand's Band Shirt Gang and be featured on HITS!

women in music: my experiences




Hey guys!

Women in music.
 A topic I didn't think I'd cover at some point.
Simply because in my opinion, there's no need to highlight either gender.
We should all be able to have the same rights, same opportunities, same experiences.

But we don't.

It's a fact.

I'll be completely honest; this post took a lot of time to write. It's still nowhere near being what I'm completely happy with, but I felt the need to upload it anyway.
Maybe it's interesting for you to read about my experiences and thoughts.

My main goal is to have you think about what I'm trying to say. And to think further than that.
I want you to find or secure your opinion about this topic and maybe I can help you by telling you what I think.

For the first few months of being somewhat little part of the music industry, I didn't have to deal with any sexist comments or encounters at all.
I think that's what allowed me to feel at home in this industry; experiencing it the way most men do.
No trouble, no rude comments.
Please notice that I use the expression "most men"- I'm aware that sexism isn't something only women have to deal with.

The first few bands and artists I got to work with are some of the most wonderful people I know.
Even though I was totally new to this industry and I was incredibly young - they never treated me like I wasn't on the same level. And for that I'm still incredibly thankful.

But of course, the time in which I experience sexism, had to come.

Last year I went on my first tour as a photographer.
A band of four men I had been friends with for a while, took me on the road with them - because they genuinely enjoyed my work.

Two gigs in, comments such as "so you're the groupie?" or "with how many of them did you sleep?", started rolling in.

Whilst you'd think these comments would come from uneducated and immature people,
I was rather surprised to have a promoter ask me in very serious tone, if I got to hang out with two artists last year, just because I slept with them.

I think a lot of times women are expected to just laugh at it and be polite about it.
But it's about time that we don't do that.

It's disrespectful towards our work, our skills and most importantly, it's fucking rude to indirectly call a woman a slut.



I met male photographers who made it very obvious that they thought I wasn't on the same level as they were.

I also met a male photographer who emailed me, once he had seen my work, apologising for questioning my skills because of my gender.

I've had guys push or elbow me whilst I was walking through the audience to photograph the band on stage.

I've had a fellow male blogger tell me that I'm only successful because I look a certain way.

Apparently some people don't think that women understand anything about music. That they only care about fashion and makeup. And that they don't have the same skills as men.

But being a woman in the media/music industry isn't always difficult because of men, unfortunately, a lot of times, it's other women who throw bricks.

I remember shooting Ed Sheeran back in 2014. I had access to the backstage areas because I had worked with his support act beforehand.
When a few girls saw my pass, they started calling me rather unflattering names.

I also remember a gig I photographed earlier this year, where another woman thought she was the only good woman in the photo pit.
 She "accidentally" hit me in the back multiple times and managed to always block my shots.

But why don't women support other women a lot more?
If anyone, we should be the first ones to cheer for each other and respect each other, right?
But not all of us do.
Because we're taught that there's only room for a few women in the industry.
Because we're being told that there's only limited spots available for us.
Because that's the way it currently is.


You think that's "just an excuse"?
 Check out festival line ups, tell me how many female acts you find.
Check out the charts, tell me how many female acts you find.

This is in no way a "men hating" post.
 I am lucky enough to work with some of the most talented, most wonderful and most supportive men that I think there are. Some of the people I receive most respect from, are men.
And I appreciate them dearly.

As a 20-year old woman, I can say that I want to be acknowledged for the work I do. 
The talent I have.
Not for the way I look or who my friends are.

 I don't want to be worried about what I'm wearing, because it might distract from my work.
I don't want to walk down the street, or into a music venue and be afraid of being whistled at, or worse - have a car full of dudes beep their car at me.

But then again I also realise that I'm leading a very fortunate life.

I am here, fighting for equality in the industry I work in,
when other women have to fight to be seen as an equal human being with the same right to be alive. To be seen and treated as a human, not an object that belongs to men.

Maybe it's a privilege that I can complain about these things, because that means I'm one of many women who finally get to be a part of this industry.
Maybe it's a privilege to be in this position, because it means we've created a situation that women before us may have dreamed of.


Many years ago, the women didn't have that opportunity, so we may all use it to make a change.

I hope any of this somehow found its' way to you.

If you want to talk about this topic, please feel free to leave a comment or speak to me on social media.
I want to listen and chat to you.




Thank you for your visit.












Credits // Text & Photography: Vanessa Jertschewske

Album Review: "Black Beauty" by The Twilight Hours



Hey guys!

One of many fascinating things about music is that you can control and change your mood, just by listening to a certain kind of music.
To me, that's something we should cherish by all means and appreciate this powerful form of art.

For as much as I love really energetic rock music, I have to say, I also enjoy the slightly more relaxed and settled down albums.

The album I'm going to review for you today, is a treat for the ears and I can't wait to hear (or read) what you guys think.

Band: The Twilight Hours
Title: Black Beauty
Genre: Rock
Label: Independent
Release date: 15th July 2016
HITS rating: 7/10

The Twilight Hours are a rock band from Minneapolis, US.
Formed quite a few years ago, the two main members John Munson and Matt Wilson had already been making music together for decades.

With their debut record out in 2007, the band had plenty of time to tour the album, build a strong fanbase and truly find The Twilight Hours' sound.

With their brand new record "Black Beauty", the band is ready to continue their creative journey.

Here's what we think about the album!


Tracklist:
1) Help Me Find The Way
2) Maybe 
3) Troublemaker
4) Soundwaves
5) Flow
6) Down To Forever
7) Telephone
8) Call Me
9) Lost In A Rain Cloud
10) Touch My Mind
11) Rain
12) Sioux City Swinger
13) Anymore

Opener "Help Me Find The Way" welcomes the listener with a big smile. The warm sound of acoustic guitars, soft but steady percussions and a happy sounding piano greets you before it allows you to sit down and relax.
Mellow and calming vocals give you the opportunity to find comfort in them. Overall, the song creates a friendly atmosphere.

That there is more to The Twilight Hours than just acoustic tracks, shows when the album throws the track "Soundwaves" your way. We are starting to drift into a world of jazz-y R'n'B vibes paired with a little bit of rock and sprinkle of folk. The song keeps the warm and friendly atmosphere which is present from the very beginning, but it takes it to a livelier level.

An album wouldn't be complete without an anthem, you say? Do not worry, The Twilight Hours have got you covered. "Anymore" lets you sink into a soft duvet of expressive vocals, beautiful guitar arrangements and united backing vocals.

To sum it up: The depth of the instrumentals shines through in every track and highlights the vocals oh so gently.
You can tell that the band has been making music together for years; the elements seem to flow together naturally to create a sound which embrases you with open arms.


You should listen to these tracks: Help Me Find The Way, Maybe, Anymore





The Twilight Hours online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Bandcamp





Thank you for your visit!












Credits // Text: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image: The Twilight Hours | *a physical copy of this album was sent to us*

Gig Photos: The Hush Sound at The Shelter, Detroit




Hey guys! 

When I started this website, I had no idea that at some point I'd have some talented people help me out creating content.

With today's post, all of Team HITS have their work published on here now.

To me, being able to work with a team is a massive deal and it's all very exciting.
Of course, the main goal will always be sharing music we love and so get ready for even more music content on HITS.

Before you dive into today's gig coverage, please take some time to check out The Photo Ladies- a collective of female music photographers which I'm looking enough to be a part of. And that's also how I got to know Reva and Saar, the two ladies in team HITS.

Reva went to photograph the Like Vines 10 Year Anniversary Tour at The Shelter in Detroit on August 8th.

Support acts Falls and Merriment put on a great gig, just like headliner The Hush Sound.

Check out the photos below!

REVA MAY online: website | instagram

FALLS



Falls online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram












MERRIMENT



Merriment online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr | YouTube















THE HUSH SOUND



The Hush Sound online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube









Thank you for your visit!





&






Credits // Text: Vanessa Jertschewske | Photography: Reva May

Behind The Song: "Little Infinity" by The Old Border




Hey guys!

The cool thing as a journalist is, that whenever you create a feature which allows the readers to go behind the scenes, you're also able to check out what's happening behind the scenes.

I absolutely love working on features like our "Behind The Song" segment because it allows me to learn more about tunes I really like.
Of course these features wouldn't work without the artists; it's always up to them whether we get to read something interesting.

Finding out what inspired a song is probably one of my favourite 'perks' this job brings along.

And I hope you guys enjoy it just as much!

Today we have The Old Border here to introduce us to their new single!



The Old Border are a four piece band from South London, UK. 
Their sound can be described as alternative and indie-rock. 

They formed in 2013 and have a debut EP out called "Rehearsed In The Mirror". 
The Old Border share a love for rock music bands such as Catfish and the Bottlemen, Artic Monkeys and Biffy Clyro. The legendary Bruce Springsteen is also one of their influences.

The band consists of:
Ben Woolford (vocals, guitar)
Jimmy Nicholls (guitar)
Matt Braid (bass)
Alex Howson (drums)






Their recently released single "Little Infinity" immediately became one of our new favourite tracks.
Songwriter Ben took the time to chat us through the process of writing and recording the song.

Check it out:
"We wrote "Little Infinity" in the summer of 2015, after spending a bit of time away from London.

Like most of our songs, it started on an acoustic with a basic melody, but once we took it to rehearsals we came up with a more complex arrangement.
Our bassist Matt wrote the driving bassline, allowing the guitars to play around with accents and create a progressive feel to the verse.

Lyrically the song is about escaping and people seeking brief happiness with one another. We wanted to create a sound that reflected that. Most of the instrumental was laid down in one sweaty afternoon and probably shows the band in its rawest form."


Listen to "Little Infinity" below!




The Old Border online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube



Enjoyed this feature? Here are more "Behind The Song" stories:
Taylor James Eary | Keeva | Chris Tavener





Thank you for your visit!





 





Credits // Text (intro): Vanessa Jertschewske | Text & Photos: The Old Border for house in the sand | *song was submitted via email*

Gig Photos: Jess Kemp at The Waterhole, Amsterdam




Hey guys!

I've told myself to never spread any negativity on HITS.
It's a very positive space of web and because of that I love it, and I think a lot of you appreciate the comfortable atmosphere as well.

But today I just have to moan about how bad I want to photograph a gig.
"Post-gig-depression" is a thing! I just can't wait to head out and watch some live music soon.

In the mean time I'm super happy that the rest of Team HITS is able to give you the regular dose of gigs.

Just last week fellow Photo Lady Saar took some photos of the talented Jess Kemp.

You can get to know Saar here, please also support her on Twitter and Instagram.


Jess Kemp is a singer/songwriter from Manchester, UK.
Her sound marches into the Acoustic direction with light sprinkles of Folk and Pop.

With influences such as Amy MacDonald, Alanis Morisette and Hayley Williams, it's no surprise that her songs carry attitude, tell stories and are relatable.

Jess' talent and her work ethic has brought a several airplays on shows such as BBC Introducing.
Earlier this year she performed her song "Stars" for our fourth birthday, watch the video.

2016 has been a busy year for Jess and her crew.
The release of her EP "Camden" has opened even more doors and allowed the musicians that go by 'We Are Jess Kemp' to gig and tour lots.

Just recently they got to tour Amsterdam, so our photographer Saar went to document one of the gigs for us.

Below are photos of the Waterhole gig in Amsterdam, on August 8th 2016.























Check out the music video for Jess Kemp's single "Stars" below!








Jess Kemp online: Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube




Thank you for your visit!








    &







Credits // Text: Vanessa Jertschewske | Photography: Saar de Graaf 

Get To Know: Manwolves



Hey guys!

I don't think discovering and supporting new music has ever been as easy as it is nowadays.
You can literally find your new favourite band by visiting a website of your choice (we recommend www.houseinthesand.com) and if you're lucky, you'll find a track you absolutely enjoy.

To use the power we are given by the Internet, we should also support the music we just found out about.
Share a song on Twitter, post something about a band you love on Facebook or just tell your friends about an album you've been listening to.
That's exactly what indie artists need and it doesn't really take much time or effort, everyone can be a great supporter.

So let's all spread the word about great music!

To start off, please let me introduce you to a band I think you'll like, Manwolves.

Enjoy!


Who are you?
We are Manwolves, a band from just north of Chicago in a suburb called Evanston.
Our band members are Julian Freeman (drums), Henry Wolf (bass), Michael Werner (trumpet), Eli Cohen (guitar), Ari Garfin (keyboard) and James McNear (vocals).

How would you describe your music?
We would describe our music as a HipHop, Jazz, Rock fusion.

How and when did you get into music?
The band members all got into music on their own, then started playing together for fun in 7th grade. They recorded their first song freshman year, and added Michael, the trumpet player, after sophomore year.

Your guilty pleasure song is?
Ari Garfin: "Broccoli" by D.R.A.M feat. Lil Yachty
Henry Wolf: Any song by Sum 41
Eli Cohen: "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)" by Backstreet Boys
Julian Freeman: "Kimi Ni Mune Kuyn" by Yellow Magic Orchestra
Michael Werner: "Blow" by Ke$ha
James McNear: "Fantasy" by Mariah Carey

What have you released so far?
We released our debut EP, a short two song EP and two singles (one of which being "These Days").

What is coming up?
A lot of live shows around the Chicago-land area and a new song before the end of the year.





Manwolves online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | Instagram





Thank you for your visit!









Credits // Text Intro & Questions: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image & Answers: Manwolves | *feature was requested via email*

Gig Impressions: Maison Johnny in Liverpool




Hey guys!


note: this post was written by Alex, our fabulous photographer from Liverpool.
Please support him online!

web links: website | twitter | facebook | instagram
__________________________________________________________________


This gig was a first for me, going straight from work I was rocking a full suit, so safe to say I got some strange looks whilst shooting.

It was also the most relaxed gig I've ever been to. The set in the chilled out first floor of the already chilled Leaf Coffee Shop in Liverpool.


Below you'll find some written impressions, as well as photographs from the evening! 




ELLIE ROSE SMITH

First up was Ellie Rose Smith, who set the tone for the evening perfectly with her smooth voice and perfect rhythms to accompany her, so one act in and expectations were already high for the rest of the evening.



Ellie Rose Smith online: Soundcloud







CHRIS WOOLF

Chris Woolf relaxed the room even further, bringing a husky yet smooth voice with brilliant acoustic sounds, all eyes in the room were fixed on him.



Chris Woolf online: Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube





NEIL NOA

Switching it up a bit was Neil Noa, stepping on to a synthesiser, his slow but at the same time booming electronic creations has the audience entranced, especially when combined with his brilliant voice.



Neil Noa online: Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram







JOHNNY SANDS

The host of the evening himself, Johnny Sands, decided to play a set. The lights changed to monotone and he played what could be described as a fusion of 60s and modern day electric guitar styles, blowing the audience away and making himself some new fans in the process.



Johnny Sands online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube







ROBBIE CAVANAGH

Finally, on came Robbie Cavanagh. His smooth voice combined with his second nature guitar playing created a perfect display for the onlookers, and he brought the most energy to any acoustic set of the evening with his voice alone, and his folk like mellow style made sure the room left the gig wanting to hear more of him.



Robbie Cavanagh online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram











Thank you for your visit!




- Alex 









Credits // Text & Photography: Alex Lloyd for house in the sand | *with thanks to Robbie Cavanagh*