Video Interview: Jamie Lawson

We caught up with Jamie for the third time and it was fabulous.

Cover The HITS

Our latest video series - covers performed by our favourite acts, exclusively for us.

Gig Photos: Angus and Julia Stone

You know it's a great gig, when the photographer starts dancing in the photo pit.

Access All Areas: Lewis Watson

Hang out with Lewis backstage and find out what that's like!

Gig Photos: Madeline Juno

We got to watch the talented Madeline interact with her wonderful fans in Stuttgart.

Behind The Song: "Five Years Time" by ONR

Hey guys!

Have you ever noticed how out of everything a person could possibly collect, music is the one thing you could never have enough of?

I mean, think about it - have you ever felt like it was a bad thing to have a full music library?
I definitely haven't.

I think you can't possibly know too many songs - there's something new to discover in every track you'll come across - at least the ones we share on house in the sand.

So let's get acquainted with a very excting track by ONR who chats us through the song.

- Behind The Song -
"Five Years Time" by ONR

ONR is an indie/electronic artist from Scotland.

Previously releasing demos via the indie label Leftwing, ONR is now signed to Capitol Records in the US.

His debut single "Jericho" received support from Spotify, as well as US stations such as KCRW, KCSN and Live 105.

December will see ONR touring the UK, including playing three sold out shows in Scotland.
He is also set to perform at SXSW in 2018.

Today ONR is here to chat us through the writing and recording process of his brand new single, "Five Years Time".

We hope you enjoy the exclusive insight - now let's let ONR take over the post:

"'Five Years Time' is probably lyrically one of the darkest songs I have.

I was trying to promote two intersecting ideas: firstly, this idea of balancing your past with your present, and in particular, this common feeling that in some way you haven't atoned for the sins of your past or your subconscious; that your happiness is, at present, underserved.
Secondly, I wanted to set that against this current backdrop of dark, dark politics, and the increasingly common frustration and helplessness that this generation is feeling - the attitude of 'grin and bear it, just get through it, let's see where we end up'.

I'm usually someone who spends an awful long time writing songs - particularly lyrics.
Very rarely will I committo something in less than a month. I'm always tweaking, replacing, re-writing. I remember watching Wings For Wheels, seeing Springsteen with pages upon pages of rewritten lyrics for "Thunder Road" and "Born To Run"... that's the kind of writer I want to be.

But "Five Years Time" wasn't that. It took no time at all. No countless rewrites, no endless editing.
It just came very easily. You get a few like that, and I'm always suspicious of them for some reason... but it works. I think it's probably one of the truest examples that I have of the subconscious feeling I had at the time just spilling straight in to the melody without much necessity for translation.

The band and I gigged this along with some of the other tracks in the very early days, and it always got a huge response live. It's a simple song - probably the simplest I have - and I'd maybe not given it due credence because of that, but it reacts in that environment. The more we played it, the more everyone began to believe: 'there's something about this track.'

I took this song to James Flannigan, a producer based in LA. I played him three tracks, and he picked out "Five Years Time" immediately as the track he was most excited about working on. James also produced our first release, "Jericho".
We worked out of his studio in Silverlake for a week. I really loved working with James, and felt a real kinship with him straight away. I think we both come from similar worlds, and were looking to build these big, bold American productions, but retaining those technical aspirations and delicacies of classic UK songwriting.

I'd just finished watching Stranger Things, and loved it - particularly the soundtrack. I still feel like it was written for me. It's so perfect.
We had it playing in the studio the entire time, along with The Day The Earth Stood Still. Listening to the track, I think you can tell.

Gear-wise, we used a lot of tape methods to get that feel  - we ran pretty much everything through a TEAC reel-to-reel, again and again, sometimes deliberately messing the reels around during playback to get those strange clips, pop and sweeps you hear throughout the track - really fun.
We used a range of synth, both hard and soft (classic trio of Juno/Voyager/Prophet that are my go-tos).
My Martin D15-M acoustic guitar is on there, as well as some Nord stuff for the keys, and a bunch of amazing drum samples and loops that James cut up and worked in to the track.

The response to "Jericho" was so incredible, and "Five Years Time" feels like the next stage of projection to where the music will end up.
I hope people like it."

Listen to "Five Years Time" below:

- buy or stream "Five Years Time" -

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

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Words (Intro): Vanessa Jertschewske | Image & Words "About Song": ONR

Gig Photos: Hippo Campus at 9:30 Club, Washington

Hey guys!

Which shows have you seen recently?

Team HITS is enjoying the busy gig season and we're all having a great time at our local venues.
By sharing all these photos on house in the sand, it feels like we all ge tto watch the same shows - even if it means in photo form.

Our Washington based photographer Gabby Ames went out to photograph Hippo Campus and their support act Remo Drive at 9:30 Club - and today we get to share the photos with you.

You can learn more about Gabby here, please also make sure to follow her online:
website | twitter | instagram


Date: 13th November 2017
Venue: 9:30 Club, Washington (US)

Support Act: Remo Drive

Remo Drive online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram


Headliner: Hippo Campus

Hippo Campus online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram


We hope you enjoyed the photos!

In case you'd like to see more of house in the sand - follow us on Instagram.

Thank you for your visit!


Credits // Words: Vanessa Jertschewske | Photography: Gabby Ames | **a ticket & photo pass have kindly been provided**

EP Review: "Storm" by Mighty Oaks

Hey guys!

Whenever I sit down to write reviews, I like creating a nice environment for me to write.
I constantly change up my desk to keep it fresh - which helps to keep my writing fresh and keeps me from falling into a rut.

In the darker months, I love lighting a candle, turning on my vintage lamps I bought at a flea market, accompanied by a cup of tea.

Once I'm in this setup, nothing can stop me.
But, of course, great music fuels the excitement.

And since we only feature music we truly enjoy, reviewing music for HITS is an absolute pleasure.

Today's EP might actually be one of my favourites of 2017, so let's check it out!

Band: Mighty Oaks
Title: Storm
Genre: Folk
Label: Universal Music
Release Date: 3rd November 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.
March this year they released their highly anticipated second album, "Dreamers".

 And now they are here with their "Storm" EP, which we can't wait to share with you.

1) One Shot
2) Storm
3) These Days
4) The Dark

Opener "One Shot" invites you to dream.
It has one of the most beautiful melodies which is underlined by calming acoustic guitar chords and carried by a harmonies as stunning as they could be.
Soft string arrangements allow you to focus on the depth of the song; yet not one elements weights you down.
"One Shot" is a musical candle lit dinner, providing pretty much everything you could wish for.

Title track "Storm" deserves the title track position.
It's a charmingly melancholic song which has a hynoptising feeling to it - it asks for your attention in the most polite way and you'll gladly obey.
It's difficult to pick a favourite element in the song, as all details make the track what it is - a stunning and moving piece of music.

"The Dark" is the final track on the EP and it really is the big finale.
Even though the instrumental is very simple and focuses on the electric guitar, the song sounds big and powerful.
The soft string arragement shines a beautiful and emotional light on the song and probably will leave you putting the song on repeat.

To sum it up: The "Storm" EP proves that Mighty Oaks have a talent for writing the most beautiful melodies around and know how to use that power wisely. Every track on the EP demands your attention without coming on too strong.
This EP is an essential for cozy nights at home.

You should listen to these tracks: One Shot, Storm

Check out the official video for "Storm" below:

- buy "Storm" EP: iTunes | Amazon -
- stream "Storm" EP -

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

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Words: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image: via Mighty Oaks

Behind The Song: "aawake at night" by half•alive

Hey guys!

The best way to describe house in the sand's email inbox?
"a treasure chest"

For sure.

No matter what time of day you open said inbox,
you know you're going to find some new and exciting gem.

And of course we will continue to share all of our favourite finds with you - so let's do this!

- Behind The Song -
"aawake at night" by half•alive

half•alive are a three-piece from Long Beach, California (USA).
The independent band formed in 2016 as the product of a challenge member Josh Taylor commited to; he wrote 50 songs in order to improve his writing skills.
Together with drummer Brett Kramer and Grammy nominated producer James Krause, a few of those songs came to life.

half•alive's first EP, "3", was recorded inside a helicopter hanger which has been redesigned into a recording studio.
After releasing the EP, the band started working on their live shows and added bassist J Tyler to the mix.

The fan base grew rapidly, to no surprise.

Today we get to learn a bit more about "aawake at night", the band's latest music video. 

Check out what they tell us about writing and recording the song, as well as shooting the music video:

"'aawake at night' is by far the most introspective of the songs off our album 3.
When writing the song, we were looking to depict our hearts longing for something more than our present circumstance is providing.
The feeling of being unsettled and searching for something that will last rather than pass away is what inspired us to write this song.

The recording process was by the far the most arduous for this song.
We really pushed to make this song reach the potential that we believed it could reach. The goal was to have strong electronic influences for this song, when a particular sound wasn't right, we would spend hours searching until we found it. In many ways the process of recording this song is reflected in the song's lyrics - the endless search.

We ran into many issues filming the music video.
The most challenging issue was finding a location to place the giant shipping container we rented.
After diligently searching, we finally learned that J's dad would let us use his church's parking lot.
When it was being loaded in, everybody came out of the church and apartment complexes next door to see what was going on.
It was crazy. We're still surprised it went smoothly."

Watch the video for "aawake at night" here:

half•alive online: Website | Twitter | YouTube | Instagram

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Text Intro: Vanessa Jertschewske | Text "About Song" & Image: half•alive

Song Of The Day: "Parachute" by Arms Akimbo

Hey guys!

Everyone who knows my personal music taste a little better, knows that a good indie-rock gets me on my feet in no time.

I think I formed a love for this genre in my early years of blogging and still connect it to that era of house in the sand.
It's quite amazing how music can transport you back to certain moments or feelings.

Today I'm super excited to share a track with you, that made it onto my private playlist in no time.
I can't wait to hear what you think of the song!

- Song Of The Day -
"Parachute" by Arms Akimbo

Arms Akimbo is a four piece from Los Angeles, USA.

Their sound mixes the best of Indie vibes with Californian Rock elements, leaving us with a sound that makes you want to move.

They met in college, started the band which is influenced by acts such as Portugal. The Man, Manchester Orchestra and more.

After gigging around Los Angeles, opening for Walk The Moon, The Animals, Strangers You Know and many more, they released three singles with producer Stephen Gomez (The Summer Set).

Arms Akimbo's single "Michigan" went viral on Spofity and reached over 850 000 plays, ranking high on the viral charts, globally as well as in the US and Canada.
Following the releases were sold out shows in Los Angeles.

Arms Akimbo are:
Peter Schrupp (vocals, guitar)
Christopher Kalil (guitar, vocals)
Matthew Sutton (drums)
Colin Boppell (bass)

Their latest release, "Parachute", is yet another reason why the band should be on your playlist.

Now, we could sit here and write about how brilliantly guiding the drums are.
Or how catchy the guitar riffs are.
Or how much the bassline adds a groovy dynamic to the song.
Or how absolutely attention grabbing the vocals are.

Or, we could just let you listen to the song immediately.

However - we need to warn you: the song is extremely addictive and you might end up listening to it on repeat.
(That's what we've been doing all day.)

Listen to "Parachute" here:

- stream "Parachute" here -

Arms Akimbo online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Words: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image: via Arms Akimbo

Gig Photos: Bad Suns at 9:30 Club, Washington

Hey guys!

Everytime we get to cover shows for house in the sand, there's a collective fist bump going around Team HITS.

We all love photographing concerts, because we love capturing moments and sharing them with everyone who went to the show - and those who wish they would've gone.

Our Washington based photographer Gabby went to photograph the brilliant duo QTY who opened the show for Bad Suns, so today you get to check out the cool photos.

You can learn more about Gabby here, please also make sure to follow her online:
website | twitter | instagram


Date: 29th October 2017
Venue: 9:30 Club, Washington

Act #1: QTY

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


Act #2: Hunny

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


Headliner: Bad Suns

Bad Suns online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram

And that's it for today.

Let us know if you've seen any of the bands live before - we would love to hear what you think!

Thank you for your visit!


Credits // Words: Vanessa Jertschewske | Photography: Gabby Ames | **a ticket and photo pass have kindly been provided**