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!

Behind The Song: "Light & Sound" by Emily Keener

Hey guys!

I'd love to use the intro for today's post to thank all the wonderful artists, managers, PRs and labels who make running a music website so much easier by being absolutely wonderful to work with.

We tend to forget how many people work in this industry and how many people it takes to get the entertainment (the music) out there, and so I think we should all take the time to appreciate them.

Today we get to learn more about a fantastic song by the fabulous Emily Keener.
Please let me introduce you to her!

Behind The Song:
- "Light & Sound" by Emily Keener -

Emily Keener is a singer/songwriter from Wakeman, Ohio (USA).
Her sound combines classic singer/songwriter elements with modern pop elements, highlighting Emily's unique and expressive voice.

The young musician started playing the guitar at the age of 11 and started writing her own songs shortly after.
Her love for music kept her going and by now Emily has released four EPs and two albums, her latest being LP "Breakfast".

In 2016 Emily found herself on Season 10 of The Voice, where she made it to the Top 12 on Team Pharell.
Today I'm super excited for you to find out more about her most recent single "Light & Sound", which I'm very sure you'll enjoy.

Emily about "Light & Sound":

"I wrote "Light & Sound" in June of 2016, and it set the tone for a prolific summer. I was basically living at the studio house attached to Waveburner Recording and remember being pretty thrilled to have a bunch of sweet guitars and mics all over the place.
Noah Heyman, Dalton Brand and I were knee deep in recording and producing my new LP, "Breakfast", and getting ready for my first post-Voice live show.

Life was super weird and overwhelming when I got home and I just wanted to write something to help me lighten up. I started conjuring up some characters in my mind; beginning with George, a jaded suit on a continuous ego trip. When I finished that first verse, I decided to stick with the office theme. I was imagining what it would be like to be working in a controlled environment (the opposite of what I'm used to). Each verse is an observation of a different co-worker, and each person is equally stuck in their cyclical ways.

Originally, the song had a vintage feel and was based arounda rhythm guitar part. None of us were feeling it enough to put it on the record, until Noah exchanged the guitar part for some rhythmic synth stuff. It gave it more energy and more space at the same time. I had a blast arranging the vocals and I loved watching the track evolve into its rightful state!
The chorus was just my way of simplifying my feelings:
"Oh, I'm watching it all go down
If it's not in my mind
It's all just Light & Sound"

When I wasn't stuck in my own head and finding chaos there, I was finding a constant slew of spotlights, cameras, big decisions, and people in my face. It was all so fun, and a big part of me loved it, but I was needing a breather. Being able to express that musically and sing it lightheartedly was a good way to let it all go!"

Check out the music video for "Light & Sound" below! 

- buy it -
- stream it -

Emily Keener online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram

Thanks for your visit!

Credits // Text intro: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image & text about song: Emily Keener

Album Review: "Dreamers" by Mighty Oaks

Hey guys!

Are you looking for a soundtrack for your very own Spring experience 2017?
Look no further, we got you covered.

To be fair, I don't believe in listening to only one certain kind of music at any point. I think that we should make the most of the variety we are given.
But sometimes it's super nice to put on an album which sounds like what you'd expect a season to sound like.
"Spring Music" might be my favourite season and my favourite genre. It's lighter than Autumn, but not as carefree as Summer.
Sort of like a mixture, which I think is stunning.

That said, stay tuned and check out the album we've got for you today.

Band: Mighty Oaks
Title: Dreamers
Genre: Folk
Label: Universal Music
Release Date: 24th March 2017

Mighty Oaks are a trio based in Berlin, Germany.

With all three members being from different parts of the world, they met after a gig in Hamburg, Germany.

Slowly but surely, they all had moved to Berlin and soon enough they started making music together.
Ian Hooper (USA), Claudio Donzelli (Italy) and Craig Sanders (UK) have been playing and recording together for a while and Mighty Oaks have become a much appreciated band in the Alt-Folk industry.

In 2010 they released their debut EP "Driftwood Seat", in 2012 follow-up EP "Just One Day".
Soon afterwards they played alongside Kings Of Leon, Dry The River and Chvrches.

Spending their Summers playing tons of festivals, Mighty Oaks gained the support of countless music lovers which was very obvious when the band's debut album "Howl" instantly made it to the top ten in Germany.
Just last month they released their highly anticipated second album, "Dreamers".

Please find our review below and let us know what you think.

1) All I Need
2) Be With You Always
3) Burn
4) Call Me A Friend
5) Don't Lie To Me
6) Dreamers
7) Dust
8) Higher Place
9) Look Inside
10) Never Look Back
11) Raise A Glase
12) The Great Unknown

Opener "All I Need" welcomes you in such enchanting manner; calm and soulful piano chords accompany slightly raspy vocals and give you enough time to dive into the Folky and dreamy atmosphere Mighty Oaks have created.
The band has kept it simple, yet anything but boring with the first track. There are charming details such as the drums bursting into the chorus or the e-guitar elements highlighting the song so gracefully.

"Call Me A Friend" is strong on all fronts.
No matter how hard you try, you won't find a flaw in this track. It's effortlessly folky and convinces with warm vocals, hauntingly beautiful harmonies and backing vocals, expressive guitar riffs which duett with the piano and are supported by a steady rhythm section.
And then there's "Raise A Glass", which takes you on a marvellous journey you have hopefully packed for.
The soft instrumentation in the verses wraps you in like a cozy blanket would. The backing vocals take you by the hand and invite you to boogie in the slightly bluesy chorus.

To sum it up: Correct me if you think I'm wrong, but I think "Dreamers" might be one of the catchiest, yet classiest Folk albums I've heard in a while. It offers a fantastic selection of tempos; dreamy and beatiful ballads, as well as up-beat Folk-Rock tracks.
It's a fine collection of different atmospheres could be your Spring Soundtrack for 2017.

You should listen to these tracks: All I Need, Dreamers, Raise A Glass

Check out a fantastic performance of "Raise A Glass" below:

Buy "Dreamers": iTunes | Amazon
Stream "Dreamers": Spotify

Mighty Oaks online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Text: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image: Mighty Oaks via Universal Music GER | **a digital copy of this album has kindly been provided** 

Song Of The Day: "Kissing Strangers" DNCE ft. Nicki Minaj

Hey guys!

Some songs can transport us back in time;
back to the first concert we went to, back to seventh grade, back to the first heartbreak, back to a fun party.

And some songs transport us into a certain season.
You know, a melancholic song can easily put you in the mood for Fall or Winter.
And those super up-beat tracks prepare you for Summer.

DNCE seem to be that kind of band that knows what Summer sounds like.
Their debut single "Cake By The Ocean" made last Summer more fun and allowed the band to introduce their funky sound. 

DNCE are a four piece outfit based in Los Angeles, US.

The band found together through a couple connections and is now here to share their alternative, funk music with us.  

DNCE consists of:
Joe Jonas (vocals)
JinJoo Lee (guitar)
Cole Whittle (bass, keyboard)
Jack Lawless (drums

Their debut single "Cake By The Ocean" ended up double-platinum and allowed the band to enter the pop industry with a bang.

After releasing their debut EP "SWAAY", touring with Selena Gomez and winning "Best New Artist" at the MTV Video Music Awards, DNCE have created a lot of buzz for their debut album "DNCE" which they released in November 2016.

With an ever-growing fanbase and the big media loving their sound, DNCE have just blessed us with a new track - "Kissing Strangers" featuring R'n'B rapper Nicki Minaj.

It's only April, so it feels too early to praise a song as a Summer anthem, but I think we have one right here.

The song is super catchy, up-beat and just makes you want to dance.

A killer riff leads us through the song and quickly becomes our dance buddy.
The drum beat makes sure you don't slow down whilst guitar and bass take turns shredding riffs.

With some sexy vocals in the verse, catchy chants in the chorus and lyrics you'll quickly learn, the song has the perfect vibe for Summer.
Whether you like Nicki Minaj or not, her part of the song is a massive bonus and just raises the party vibes.

Grab your dancing shoes and booooogie with DNCE!

- buy/stream "Kissing Strangers" -

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

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Text: Vanessa Jertschewske | Photo & Video: DNCE

Video Premiere: "Banshees" by Pamela Hute

Hey guys!

Don't you think music is a magical thing?
I mean.. what exactly is music?
It's melodies and rhythms, lyrics and harmonies, beats and riffs.
It's something which moves millions and millions of people every single day.

It's something we can only hear. We can't touch it. But it touches us.
It's art. And it can be definied in thousands of different ways.

I guess, it's magic.

And today, as per usual, house in the sand gets to share some magic with you.

Video Premiere: "Banshees" by Pamela Hute

Pamela Hute is a musician from Paris, France.
Pin-pointing her sound is like taming a lion- it's rather difficult.
She dances somewhere inbetween Electronic, Pop, Post-Punk and Rock and makes this mixture work beautifully.

Her love for music has been present for her entire life and early on she formed a band, in which she played until 2006.
Soon after that she started her solo career which has proven to be exactly the right path to take.

In 2010 her autobiographical debut album "Turtle Tales From Overseas" convinced the critics and pleased Pamela's loyal fanbase.

With two band mates, Igor Bolender on snythesisers and Ernest Lo on drums, Pamela got to play some of Frances most important stages.

Follow-up album "Bandit" was presented to the world in 2013.
Ever since then, the musician expanded her band and has shared her third longplayer "Highline" in February 2017.

"Highline" is inspired by her travels and has turned her sound into a fairytale of Pop and Indie.

And today we are extremely excited to share Pamela Hute's brand new music video for "Banshees" with you.
If I had to sum it up in three words, I'd say: artistic, expressive and sparkly.
Those are some great words, right?

As we are hosting the German premiere of the music video, you are some of the first people to check out "Banshees".

Watch it here!

Buy/stream the album: physical | digital

Pamela Hute online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram

Thank you for your visit! 

Credits // Text: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image & Video: Pamela Hute

Audio Interview: Vancouver Sleep Clinic

Hey guys!

Every day when I go through my emails, my excitement level is sky-high.
Why? Because I know I'm about to find an artist or a band who is going to end up on my playlist.

And of course, I don't just keep the music to myself; I share it with everyone who wants to find something new.

My favourite way of learning more about a band and their art, is asking them lots of questions.
Luckily, that's exactly what I get asked to do.

As always, I'm very excited for you to check out today's band- my hunch tells me you're going to love it.

Vancouver Sleep Clinic is a fieve piece from Brisbane, Australia. Their sound can be described as Alternative.

Frontman Tim Bettison started the project in 2013. The first release, "Vapour", immediately caught the attention of big media sites such as The Guardian and Indie Shuffle.

The debut EP "Winter" has had a total of + 30 million streams, which probably speaks for itself.

And now Vancouver Sleep Clinic just released their highly anticipated debut album "Revival".

Just a few days ago I got to call Tim via Skype and had a fun and interesting chat with him. 

You can listen to our conversation below, as we chat about the new album, tour phones, having to run in music videos and a lot more.

Check out Vancouver Sleep Clinic's music video for "Someone to Stay" below.

- buy or stream the album: here -

Vancouver Sleep Clinic online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram

Many thanks to Tim for the lovely chat, and to Sony Music GER who organised this interview.

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Text: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image: Vancouver Sleep Clinic via Sony Music GER | this interview was recorded on 4th April 2017

Game Premiere: "Colin: The Chicken & The Egg" by Bella Loka

Hey guys!

When was the last time you played a video game?
I think it's honestly been years since I have.
But I loved it! The thrill of deciding which path your character was going to take, figuring out the storyline, costumizing the action - wasn't it fun?

Well, at least that was the case until I got to check out Bella Loka's most recent project.

Let me tell you more about the band the exciting premiere we get to host today.

Bella Loka are an electronic indie pop duo based in London, UK.
Members Tea and David Boothby have been making music together for years.

Their upcoming debut album ("The Light, The Mud & The Dark", out April 28th) has been a long time in the making and was recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London.

In order to shorten the wait; singer, songwriter and video producer Tea created "an interactive YouTube-based choose-your-own-adventure graphic novel based around two anti-heroes called Colin & The Blue Minor, in a story called Colin: The Chicken & The Egg."
The entire tale was written and animated by Tea herself and is soundtracked by Bella Loka's upcoming music.

With the video series being an actual homage to classic 80s/90s pop culture, I cannot wait for you to have a go.
I know that a lot of you are my age and a bit older, so I think we can all appreciate a bit of nostalgia paired with the excitement of controlling the characters. 

To start the game, you just have to check out the video below - it's going to lead you to the start of the adventure which you will then get to make your own.

I advice you to take some time to check it out properly.
I had the best time making the decisions and watching the story unfold.
Make sure to tell me your "end results" - I'd love to hear about them.

Have fun!!!

- find Bella Loka on iTunes -

Bella Loka online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram

Thank you for your visit! 

Credits // Text: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image & Video: Bella Loka

Behind The Song: "She" by Kiirstin Marilyn

Hey guys!

I have some life advice for you today:
always collaborate with people.

What I mean by that?
Talk about your ideas, let others contribute to your ideas, allow creativity and different thoughts to unfold and optimise your ideas.

When I created the "Behind The Song" feature, I only ever thought of it as a written feature.
That was until I had a lovely chat with the fantastic Kiirstin Marilyn, who had the idea of recording a video of her answering the questions I had.
Of course I loved the idea and so now this feature also exists in video form.

Behind The Song:
- "She" by Kiirstin Marilyn -

Kiirstin Marilyn is a singer/songwriter from New York, USA.
Her sound varies between Alternative, Electronic and Pop- creating the unique and energetic sound she is known for.

Kiirstin has been co-writing with other acts and has been performing in bands since 2005.
In 2011 things started to change and she found herself on her solo career path.

Her debut EP "Something to Die For" was released in 2012, ever since Kiirstin has released more music and started to opening up, telling stories about her struggles and successes. She soon found her political and social voice, which she represents in her music.

Her most recent single, "She", is the first taste of what we can expect of Kiirstin's debut album.

Kiirstin took the time to chat us through the process of writing the song. 

She shares who inspired her to write it, why she thinks it's an anthem for women and she tells us more about the video shoot for the impressive video.

Now that you know all about the song and the video shoot, please make sure to check out "She" below.

- get the song: here -

Kiirstin Marilyn online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Text: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image & Video: Kiirstin Marilyn

why likes and followers matter

Hey guys!

What a headline.
To be honest, I never thought I would be the person to write a post telling you "why likes and followers matter".

Yet here I am, about to tell you.
If you are shaking your head in disbelief, or are about to call me 'shallow', please hear me out.
I can back this up.

So - why do likes and followers matter?

Isn't everybody laughing about those people who want +256 likes for their selfies?
Or who think they are famous because they have +472  followers?
Doesn't that all sound super ridiculous?

It probably does.

But when it comes to the business side of things,
it's anything but ridiculous.
In fact, it's one of the most important aspects.

Because likes don't just say "oh nice selfie, you've got a good face - here's a thumb!" when you use social media for work.
No, they can actually determine one's career. 
Hell, even one's income.

I have a feeling that those of you, who work in or with Social Media, are probably already nodding their heads.

And if you don't get what I'm talking about - good for you, you're probably leading a normal life.

But let me explain by giving you my personal example.

I run a music website.
And in order to collaborate with the artists we see featured on this website, there are three important factors:
1) my skills: of course, just like in any other job, you need to have a set of skills in order to get the attention of those people you may want to work with.
2) my audience: a lot of the times when I request to interview an artist/a band, the labels and managements behind the musicians want to know how many people visit my website.
3) my social media statistics: those labels, promoters and managements are also interested in the numbers and interactions we have on Twitter, Facebook and all the other platforms.

When I first started working in music, the only numbers that mattered were the views and visits on a website.
But with Social Media being such a huge part in our everyday lives, the amounts of likes and followers keep getting more important day by day.

So why do likes and followers matter to me?
Because those numbers paired with my skills decide whom I get to work with.

And why should you care, you might ask?
Well, you don't have to care. It's probably only really my problem.
But, if you enjoy this website and maybe came across music you now listen to in your free time, 
then this might matter to you.
If you want us to continue to grow - we need likes and followers.
If we grow, you'll benefit from it because you'll get to watch interviews with some of the biggest acts around.
If only a handful of people cared about house in the sand, I would've never been able to chat to Olly Murs or photograph Ed Sheeran
But, because there is a bigger interest in this page, we get to do and share these cool things with you.

So how can you make a difference?
By following those on Social Media, who deliver content you enjoy.
By clicking the "like" or "thumbs up" button when they post something.
By commenting, retweeting or subscribing.

Those actions don't cost you anything and it usually takes less than five seconds to do them.
So be a hero and like, follow and comment.
This counts for all creators on Social Media such as musicians, photographers, videographers and PR agencies. Not just for us bloggers.

I hope this post has been either relatable (because you "know the struggle") or interesting (because maybe you have never thought about the importance of a "silly like").
Either way, I hope you enjoyed reading this and might consider hitting that like button some more.

Of course I would absolutely love to hear your opinion on this and I'd also be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Just because it makes sense, here are our social media links. ;)
You can follow, like or just lurk - either way, we appreciate your time.

p.s: in case you were wondering - I'm wearing my amazing The Photo Ladies hoodie in the photos.
You can learn more about this fantastic collective by visiting their website.

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Text & Photography: Vanessa Jertschewske

Gig Photos: Milky Chance at The Teragram Ballroom, Los Angeles

Hey guys!

The excitement levels at the house in the sand headquarters are on a constant high.

Working with a team of photographers allows me to cover gigs in so many places.
It allows me to give talented photographers an extra platform.
And it allows me to share even more music with you.

I'm glad everyone, who has been reading HITS for a while, seems to be very alright with there now being a team behind the scenes.

Today we've got the first post of photos by our Los Angeles based photographer, Melissa Rodriguez.

You can learn more about Melissa here, and support her on her social media outlets:
portfolio | twitter | facebook | instagram

Melissa went to photograph Milky Chance and their fabulous support act Noah Kahan in LA and you can check out the photos below.


Date: 8th March 2017
Venue: The Teragram Ballroom, Los Angeles (USA)

Support Act: Noah Kahan

Noah Kahan is a singer/songwriter from Strafford, VT - a quiet town with a population of 1000.
He discovered his love and passion for songwriting at an early age.

His sound ties in multiple genres but mainly connects Folk and Acoustic-Pop, creating a fantastic Alternative sound.

Noah crafted his skills "in the rolling hills of his family’s 133 acre tree farm. This serene location provided the backdrop for countless adventures that ranged from typical boyhood antics to the more rebellious teenage exploration."

A little while back, Noah Kahan shared his first track "Young Blood" with the world.
And just recently he joined Milky Chance on tour.

Noah Kahan online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram


Headliner: Milky Chance

Milky Chance are a duo from Kassel, Germany.

Clemens Rehbein and Philipp Dausch met at school and instantly became friends. Later on they played in a local band, and kept on making music even after the band split up.

The duo built a tiny studio in the house in which Clemens grew up in. They recorded their debut album, "Sadnecessary" in said studio with minimal equipment.
Once it was done, they released their debut single "Stolen Dance" which went viral and has now gained over 300 million views.

All the attention allowed Milky Chance to sett off on tour, which then turned into a +100 dates tour.
Since then they've been touring, playing at festivals and built themselves a very loyal fanbase.

And just yesterday, March 17th 2017, they released their new album, "Blossom".

Milky Chance online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram

And that's it!
Let us know if you've seen Milky Chance live before, we'd love to hear your thoughts!

Thank you for your visit!


Credits // Text: Vanessa Jertschewske | Photography: Melissa Rodriguez | **ticket and photo pass have kindly been provided**

Video Of The Day: "Bloodstain" by Wrabel

Hey guys!

Last year I got asked to interview an artist called Wrabel.
I did not know his music back then, but it didn't take more than a song for me to be completely conviced.

So it did my research and along the way I quickly realised that I was going to chat to a very fascinating person.

The phone interview we recorded is still one of my favourite interviews I've done so far, so in case you'd like to listen to it - just click here.

Today I'm stupidly excited to share Wrabel's most recent single with you.
Check it out!

Video Of The Day:
- "Bloodstain" by Wrabel -

Wrabel is a solo act from Los Angeles, United States.
He combines Pop and R'n'B elements in such graceful manner.

Stephen Wrabel has been writing music for almost ten years now after discovering his love for music at an early age.
He spent a year studying at Boston's Berklee College Of Music before he moved to Los Angeles to pursue his career in music.
Wrabel has also written for many artists such as Adam Lambert, Ellie Goulding and Philipp Phillips.

In 2014, the talented musician released his debut EP "Sideways" and started his solo career.
The song "Ten Feet Tall", a beautiful piano ballad, was then used by Dutch DJ Afrojack which allowed Wrabel to kick off his career in style.

He is now working on his debut album which we will get to hear in 2017. 

And just recently Wrabel released a new single, "Bloodstain".

It has clearly got a strong R'n'B vibe to it; Wrabel's warm and expressive voice tells the story in such hypnotizing way. Whether you can relate to the song or not, you'll end up eagerly following every word, processing it with care.
The beats are the leading element of the song and guide you through the emotions; subtle e-guitar elements highlight the intense parts.

I also want to talk about the lyric video for "Bloodstain".
It's a video collage of instant photos (known as Polaroids - but, fun fact - Polaroid is a brand, not the actual photo.) and it's done brilliantly.
The photos take you on Wrabel's journey of dealing with heartbreak. It's documented in an intimate and artistic way. It's refreshingly creative and it's everything we needed.

Check out the lyric video for "Bloodstain" below!

- buy it -

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

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Text: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image: Wrabel