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.

Video Premiere: "Colin" by Bella Loka



Hey guys!

Sometimes I just need to sit down for a few minutes and realise how much things have changed for house in the sand.
With an audience that grows every single day, I am now in the very lucky position of never running out of good music because there's always a band or a solo act submitting their music.

When I started out things were different and so it's even more special when nowadays bands ask HITS to premiere their music videos. 

The very talented Bella Loka asked me to do so and I'm absolutely excited to show you their music video today.

Bella Loka are a two piece, originally from Bristol, UK, now based in Camden Town, London, UK. 
The two members being husband and wife makes their musical bond even more special than you'd already expect.

Tea Boothy (vocals, guitar, piano, songwriting) and David Boothby (guitar, laptop, production) create an unique indie pop and electronic sound.

Their latest release, "The Escape EP", features their current single "Colin".
Recorded at the world famous Abbey Road Studios in London, Bella Loka have already managed to create a sound your ears will enjoy listening to.

Now they are here with an animated music video for "Colin", a song inspired by a friend of the band called Colin, a pianist with musical superpowers.
The video sketches were done by Tea herself. The singer/songwriter and video producer drew all characters and then imported them to a visual effects software in which she created the film.

"The video expands the story to an epic tale of two anti-heroes called Colin and the Blue Miner who connect across time and space to fight an epic battle on a higher plane resulting in the exchange of powers and the birth of a star.", is how the band describes their newest work.

Are you as curious as I was now?

I am absolutely impressed by the amount of creativity this piece of art provides us with and am very proud to present you the official music video for "Colin" by the very talented Bella Loka.

Enjoy!






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





Thank you for reading!





 



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

EP Review: "Cerulean Blue" by Cecilia Meadows


 

Hey guys!

 I think my favourite part about receiving music submissions is how you never know what you get before you open them.
Incredibly many artists, labels and managements send me new releases every day and it's always really exciting.
It's those moments where I click a link, listen to a song and am completely enchanted by it that make this job so much fun. 
  
Today I've finally got another EP review for you guys, so please allow the music to convince you. 

Artist: Cecilia Meadows
Title: Cerulean Blue
Genre: Folk, Pop
Label: independent
Release date: 3rd June 2015
HITS rating: 8/10

Cecilia Meadows is a singer/songwriter based in London, England.
The indie-pop/folk musician is originally from a small town in Sweden. 

Cecilia started playing the piano at the age of 10 and soon wrote her own music on her family's "incredibly out of tune piano" until she got her first keyboard.
Her father's guitar playing had that much of an impact on young Cecilia that she soon wanted to play the instrument herself. At the age of 14 her dad started teaching her how to play the guitar and soon enough she started writing her own guitar based songs.

In 2008 Cecilia moved to Stockholm, Sweden for her music studies, five years later the singer/songwriter decided to move to London, England to take her music career to the next level.

And just earlier this month Cecilia Meadows independently released her debut EP "Cerulean Blue" which I'm going to talk about now.

Tracklist:
1) Maybe We Do
2) Sleepless
3) My Cure
4) Cerulean Blue 

Opening title "Maybe We Do" already gives you a good idea of what to expect from the EP; soft but soulful and expressive vocals, clever arrangements of all instruments, honest and story telling lyrics.
 
Cecilia has the talent of being able to wrap you up with her voice like a silky blanket would - you are in for a treat and don't want out.

"My Cure" brings in the folk-y atmosphere a bit more. The guitar base of the song gives it a lot of grip, the percussions are like sparkles bringing in a bit of a darker, more mysterious vibe.

Cecilia says about the EP that "the most important thing with this EP was to make sure that every song had a clear mood and that this was being conveyed in everything from lyrics to production", well, as far as I'm concerned, she's done a brilliant job. 


To sum it up: Cecilia Meadows is definitely one to watch. It's just a matter of time until we see her playing Glastonbury. With a beautiful and enchanting voice, harmonizing guitar work and relatable yet unique lyrics, she's able to speak to a large audience.


You should listen to these tunes: Maybe We Do, My Cure






Cecilia Meadows online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube





Thank you for reading!









Credits // Text: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image: Cecilia Meadows


Get To Know: Shape Of The Sun



 
Hey guys!

I don't know about you but I think falling in love with music over and over again is one of the loveliest feelings. Discovering details in songs such as a genius arrangement of words or an infectious bassline allows you to enjoy a song to the fullest.

What I also love about being involved in "music things" is that I get to know the artists behind the songs that convince me better. My favourite thing to do is share that with you and allow house in the sand to be a place where music is a love we all share.

Today I'd like to introduce you to a one man show which convinced me with clever arrangements that just stay in your head all.
Let's turn the spotlight on for Shape Of The Sun!


Who are you?
My name is Nate Linek and I'm from Medina, Ohio USA. I play all instruments and sing for my one-man band, Shape of the Sun. I also record and mix all of my music.


How would you describe your music?
I'd say that I belong in the alternative/indie rock category. I love a good rock hook and am really big on melody. I'm influenced by artists like Spoon, Brand New, David Bowie, Beach Boys and Cold War Kids.


What does music mean to you?
Music means a number of different things to me. I use it as a way to connect to other people. I use it as therapy and stress relief. I write songs to express myself and hopefully people will enjoy them.


Your guilty pleasure song is?
Uh-oh. Do I have to? I could probably list a bunch that I'm not proud of, but I think I'll go with "Since You Been Gone" by Kelly Clarkson.


What have you released so far?
I've released a 5 song, self-titled EP which I recorded and produced in my home studio. You can stream it and download it for free on bandcamp.


What is coming up?
I will be releasing a new single very soon, followed by another EP in late summer. I will be making more videos and plan on playing live shows with a full band as soon as I can.







Shape Of The Sun online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Bandcamp | YouTube





Thank you for reading!






Credits // Text & questions: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image & answers: Nate Linek (Shape Of The Sun)

Get To Know: Nina Baker



Hey guys! 

There are so many things I love about blogging; I am a writer, I can't help but express myself by writing, photographing, etc.
But I think the main thing I love about house in the sand is the fact that it is a space where we all are able to get to know musicians.

Not just in a "finding out about them" way, but it a more personal way.

Today the absolutely wonderful Nina Baker is here to tell us a few things about her and her music.
I am very excited to have her over! 


Who are you?
Hello, my name is Nina Baker. I live on a farm in a very small village in the UK and I am a dubstep DJ .....
No sorry, I meant I am a classical trained pianist, singer and songwriter. That's better!


How would you describe your music? 
I think it has finally been decided that I am CLASSICAL POP - Pop but with a lot of classical influences, which I hope people pick up in the arrangements and chord progressions.
I have been likened to Kate Bush, Tori Amos, Regina Spektor, Alanis Morissette, Delta Goodrem, even Kylie Minogue (not sure how that happened!), I seem to get likened to someone wherever I play and it varies greatly depending on where in the world you are, which is fine.
 As long as you like the music you can compare me to whoever you like!


What does music mean to you?
It would be easy to say EVERYTHING, as everyone says that, even the 16 year old kids on the X Factor - This REALLY annoys me! You sacrifice an awful lot to be in this industry, whether that be freedom, family, money, if you want to succeed. Being an independent, it is all or nothing, you go hard or you go home. I had a car accident earlier this year and even though the dectors said that I had to take time off, that 3 month period was the longest in my life. Do I spend every day doing music? Yes. Do I stay awake at night thinking about it? Yes. Would I be lost without music? Yes. I think that answers the question.

Your guilty pleasure song is?
"Groove Is In The Heart" by DeeeLite is the greatest song ever written, but my current personal favourite is singing "Stay With Me" by Sam Smith in the style of Alvin and the Chipmunks!


What have you released so far?
My debut album "Quite Frankly" came out last year and was very well received and it had some great review (especially from HITS!). My debut single "Single Bed" is still the one I am most well known for, which is crazy as it was by far the quickest and simplest song I have ever written! We released it thinking people would hate it, how wrong we were!


What is coming up?
Festival season has started and I am playing 12 festivals across the UK, then hopefully going on tour in the Autumn. I am also hoping to do some interesting videos before the end of the year. Fingers crossed we will reschedule the planned tour of Europe (which had to be cancelled due to accident). When I make it to Germany I will definitely come and say hello!







Nina Baker online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube





Thank you for reading!




 





Credits // Text & questions: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image & answers: Nina Baker

Song Of The Day: "I Wanna Be Your Man" by Yukon Blonde


 

Hey guys!

  There are so many songs that just need to be shared.
Not one day goes by without me listening to a song and thinking "oh, this needs to be heard!", so everyone now and then I sit down and write these Song Of The Day posts for you.

What's nice about them is they are simple, they tell you a bit about the acts behind the song and give you enough freedom to discover and judge. 

Recently I've received an email informing me about Yukon Blonde and their newest release.

Yukon Blonde are a band from Vancouver, BC.
They combine indie rock elements with the catchiness of pops songs and manage to unite the sound of The Strokes, The Cure and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs with their very own sound

Yukon Blonde are:
Graham Jones
Jeffrey Innes
Brandon Scott
 James Younger

 
Today I'd like to share their song "I Wanna Be Your Man" with you. 

The song is a bit of an indie rock anthem. It's chilled, yet convinces with the necessary energy
Sometimes there are songs with their focus on one specific element (e.g. the vocals), "I Wanna Be Your Man" is not like that.

The song works together consistently and all elements collide together. From the backing vocals which underline the lead vocals, to the guitar parts, the rhythm section and the danceable synths - all elements melt into one song and have created one hell of an "ear worm" that way.


You want more? Lucky you, Yukon Blonde are releasing their new record "On Blonde" on June 15th.





Yukon Blonde online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube




Thank you for reading!









Credits // Text: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image: Yukon Blonde

Album Review: "Chameleon" by Danielle Allard


 

Hey guys!

And so it continues - the year of fantastic releases! 
The amount of brilliant records I've heard so far this year just shows that there is a fantastic music scene and I'm really glad to be a little part of it by presenting you exciting releases.

So let's not waste any more time and dive straight into the next review!

Artist: Danielle Allard
Title: Chameleon
Genre: Acoustic
Label: independent
Release: May 9th 2015
HITS rating: 8/10

Danielle Allard is a singer/songwriter based in Ottawa, Canada. 
Her songs march into the acoustic/folk direction and convince with honest and personal lyrics paired with Danielle's fantastic voice.

She "danced in the womb", her first words were "in song form: "ee-i-ee-i-oh" (yes, that's Old MacDonald) and her singing and dancing never stopped.
Over the years she has performed a countless amount of times, has been part of a few projects and treated the world with incredible songs. 

She's no stranger to house in the sand and I'm very happy to see Danielle achieve so many wonderful things due to her hard and passionate work.

Tracklist:
1) Little Demons
2) Crowns
3) All Your Answers
4) Shipwreck
5) Run
6) Goodbye
7) Careless Whisper
8) Tall Grass
9) Lullaby

Opener track of the album "Little Demons" is a light, bouncy track. Danielle's vocals lead you through the track and give it the necessary grip and volume. The track is up beat, yet calm and an easy listen. As I'm writing this review, I'm sat in the garden and couldn't imagine a more suitable song to listen to at the minute. By focusing on vocals and guitar, Danielle managed to write an amazing Summer anthem.

"All Your Answers" gets a bit more mysterious, a bit darker. Vocals and instrumentals create a slightly folk pop inspired atmosphere and even though it sounds a bit different than the rest of the album, it's not like the artist tried too much. It all falls together easily. 

Earlier this year Miss Allard performed "Shipwreck" as a part of our third annual Birthday Countdown (watch her performance here). Back then she already enchanted us with the beautiful acoustic version. The studio version is even more emotional and intense; with the piano as the heart of the song, there's nothing not to like about it.

We're even getting a cover treat, "Careless Whisper", orginally performed by George Michael. Danielle kept the style of the song, yet made it her own by focusing on her gorgeous vocals and the vulnerable and honest feelings.


To sum it up: It was a promising release and the Canadian singer/songwriter hit all expectations. Danielle Allard seems to be one of those artists who know what works best for them but still finds ways to create a variety of sounds. Thumbs up!


You should listen to these songs: Little Demons, All Your Answers, Shipwreck





Danielle Allard online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube



Thank you for reading!




 




Credits // Text: Vanessa Jertschewske | Album image provided by Danielle Allard

Get To Know: Symphonie


 

Hey guys!

What makes a good song?
Even as a music blogger I don't really have an answer. To be honest, I don't think there is an answer.
But there are signs and I guess it's a sign when you enjoy a song of a genre you usually don't enjoy easily.

There are genres I am open to but don't really listen to in my free time, unless I really like them.
And the artist I want to introduce to you today managed to make me enjoy his EP which doesn't fall in the genres I thoroughly love.

The project is called Symphonie and James, the man behind it, is going to tell you a bit more about his music today. I hope you're as excited as I am about a potential new favourite artist.

________________________

Who are you?
I'm James. The name of my project is Symphonie. Born and raised in New Haven, Connecticut, USA and currently living in Los Angeles. Half of my family lives in Munich, Germany though! I play guitar, piano and sing. I also produce and record all the arrangements.


How would you describe your music?
Right now I'm calling it "synth pop that you can stage dive to". Pop music with all the passion and energy of a rock song, but without the old rock clich├ęs. I want to create a sound and style that has never been done before. Huge hip hop influence too.


What does music mean to you? 
It's everything! I've been lucky enough to travel a bit and do lots of cool things, but nothing compares to the feeling I get from performing or watching someone I love perform.


Your guilty pleasure song is?
Hmm good question! I try not to be guilty about any music that I listen to. I think any song can be great regardless of the genre or how infamous an artist is. I guess I'd have to say "Something In The Water" by Carrie Underwood. I'm not religious or anything like that, but I love to belt that one out in my car. Her voice is so powerful. I love the way they work Amazing Grace into the background too.


What have you released so far?
I've released a 4 song EP that I wrote and produced myself. It's called "Deaf Girls" and you can stream and download the whole thing for free on my website.


What is coming up?

You can catch me performing and supporting other bands in Los Angeles, California! I've already begun working on my next EP, but it's very preliminary. I want this next project to be a more collaborative effort with the great artists throughout LA.





Symphonie online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud




Thank you for reading!








Credits // Text & questions: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image & answers: James of Symphonie