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!

Performance Of The Day: "Bloodstain" by Wrabel

Hey guys!

There are artists you find out about and immediately put on every playlist you ever make.
Reason being that you're just fascinated by their work and their creativity.

Whenever I find one of those acts, I get a bit crazy and listen to everything they've ever released.
Please don't judge me.

Today I'm excited to share a performance of an artist I started music-stalking last year.
I'm pretty sure a lot of you are going to love it!

- Performance 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.

His most recent release, the "We Could Be Beautiful" EP, was exactly what all Wrabel fans have been waiting for.
With five tracks, he proved once again that he's a fantastic songwriter and performer.

Wrabel recently performed his song "Bloodstain" for Mahogany Sessions and we adore it.
The creatives behind Mahogany Sessions never disappoint - they always find excellent artists and create such stunning videos.

"Bloodstain" is one of those songs which make you feel emotions, you didn't even know you were feeling.
It's honest, it's visual, it's hauntingly beautiful.
The beats carefully guide us through the performance, but it's definitely Wrabel's voice which wows us every time we listen to it.

Check out Wrabel's performance of "Bloodstain" for Mahogany Sessions below:

- buy "Bloodstain" -

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

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Words: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image: Wrabel via Facebook | Video: Mahogany Sessions

EP Review: "The Apartment Diaries" by City Of Sound

Hey guys!

Do you ever get super excited because there is SO much music out there to be discovered?
I mean, within the past five years, house in the sand has shared a decent amount of new music with everyone who was interested.

But just looking at our email inbox, we know we still have a lot left to discover.
In fact, it's probably never going to end and that's quite exciting.

Not many things in life are certain, but we're definitely never going to run out of great music to listen to and share with the world.

So let's do this!!!

Band: City Of Sound
Title: The Apartment Diaries
Genre: Indie Rock, Alternative
Label: Independent
Release: 15th October 2016

City Of Sound are a three-piece from Los Angeles (CA), USA.
The independent band gracefully combines Indie Rock with Alternative elements, creating their very own signature sound.

City Of Sound are:
Jordan Wright (vocals, piano)
Andrew Leigh (guitar)
Lacey Ammar (voilin)

They have recently passed 10,000 streams on Spotify, played a headline show at LA's Molly Malone's and are currently working on an album.
On July 29th, City Of Sound will be opening for East Of Eli at the famous The Roxy Theatre in Los Angeles.

Feel free to check out our review of their latest EP, "The Apartment Diaries" below.

1) Afterglow
2) I For One
3) Wasteland
4) The Show
5) Animus
6) Wake Up

EP opener "Afterglow" greets you with a stunning piano melody, which - fortunately - stays a part of the entire song. Soon the full-band sound comes alive and gives your ears a big hug, leaving you smiling.
Once the vocals join the gathering, nothing can go wrong anymore.
The song takes you on a journey through atmospheres and feelings, by changing the pace - going from soft and calm in the verses, to being loud and powerful in the choruses.

With "Wasteland", City Of Sound show us that they can also do dark and mysterious. 
The heavy percussions and howling guitar chords, paired with light piano notes and stunning violin notes, create an atmosphere which makes you want more.
The band knows how to draw sceneries with their instruments and manages to grab your attention right away.

"Animus" keeps the heavy percussions, but allows more light into the room. Said light comes in the form of an uplifting piano melody. The track is led by singer Jordan's vocals - varying from warm and soothing, to edgy and raspy.

To sum it up: "The Apartment Diaries" is a carefully crafted EP which shines bright because of all the passion and honesty that's been poured into it. It's an absolute joy to listen to and has left us feeling extremely excited for what is yet to come.

You should listen to these tracks: Afterglow, Wasteland, Animus

Learn more about City Of Sound below:

- stream "The Apartment Diaries" -
- buy "The Apartment Diaries" -

City Of Sound online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram

Thank you for your visit! 

Credits // Words: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image: City Of Sound

Release Of The Day: "Bad Luck" by Adam Barnes

Hey guys!

There are artists, whose music just grabs you instantly.
It's so hypnotizing, you just can't help but listen to it with all your attention.

We find it pretty fascinating whenever we stumbled upon one of those musicians
- and of course we treasure it.

So, of course, when those acts release new music, we reserve seats in the front row to cheer for them on the day of the release.

Today the fantastic Adam Barnes has released his brand new single - and you're going to fall in love with it.

- Release Of The Day -
"Bad Luck" by Adam Barnes

Adam Barnes is a musician from Oxford, UK.
His sound classifies as Folk and soaks you in with the beauty of the honesty, which he expresses oh so gracefully.

Adam has been making music since 2010 and has released a great amount of music since.
Starting with his debut EP "Blisters" in 2012, followed by debut album "The Land, The See & Everything Lost Beneath" in 2014 and another EP, "One Day We'll Be Fine" in 2015.
All those stunning pieces of music have collected over 3 million streams on Spotify.

2017 sees the Adam's return with new music in the works, and we couldn't be more excited about his new single "Bad Luck".

"Bad Luck"
welcomes you with a calm, yet very expressive e-guitar, being strummed ever so gently.  Adam's voice soon takes the lead and immediately proves to be the most powerful element of the song.

Paired with perfect harmonies, the vocals become the heart of the song and teach the listeners, why Adam Barnes needs to be on their list of favourite acts.

The beautiful usage of strings adds more depth to the song and supports the build-up towards the end, giving the song the big and powerful ending it truly deserves.

Listen to "Bad Luck" below:

- buy or stream "Bad Luck -

Adam Barnes online: Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Words: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image: Adam Barnes

Video Of The Day: "Breathing" by dePresno

Hey guys!

In our new series, "7 songs", we celebrate those different emotions which are caused by music.
So many songs have the power to make us smile, cry or feel nostalgic.

And it's a lot of fun to think of those songs from the perspective of the listener - because you get to figure out what a song means to you.

But we tend to forget that those artists who wrote those songs, also feel certain emotions and connect them to those tracks.
Some might be written to deal with heartbreak, some might be written out of pure happiness.

And others might be experiments to change things up creatively.

The variety is big and that's what is so exciting.

Today we have a little "Video Of The Day" for you and can't wait for you to see it.

- Video Of The Day -
"Breathing" by dePresno

dePresno is a Pop solo artist from Bergen, Norway.

He was gifted his first ever guitar at the young age of four. Ever since dePresno has been growing a huge love for singing and playing music. Under the influence of his family, the young musician grew up listening to Dylan, Cohen, Marley and co.

His shyness made dePresno keep his love for performing to himself most of the time.
However, one of his brothers gifted him a day in a recording studio.
That day he recorded a cover version of Donovan's "Catch The Wind".

Soon things snowballed and dePresno played at festivals, got airplay from multiple radio stations and signed a deal with Sony Music Columbia Germany, which celebrated the release of his latest EP "Forever" last year.

dePresno is already working on new material and has just released a video for his most recent single "Breathing".

"Breathing" is that kind of song you're going to listen to on a Sunday morning, after you might've had a long Saturday night out.
You might feel a bit exhausted and fragile from the drink of your choice, but you don't regret anything.

It's a relaxed, yet still up-beat track - the dark beats are going to get your head bobbing.
(But don't over-do it or you'll get a headache..)
Modern synths take the lead and guide us through the song, whilst dePresno's voice tells the story in such charming and fantastic way.

His vocals are smooth, yet exciting and powerful. His tone is very warm, but he still makes the high notes sound so effortlessly good.

The video is super entertaining and suits the song so well. You might be able to relate to it, or you'll just have a good time watching it.

Check out "Breathing" now:

- buy or stream "Breathing" -

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

Thank you for your visit! 

Credits // Words: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image: dePresno press kit

7 songs: Vanessa from HITS

Hey guys!

What would you say is the most magical thing about music?
For me, it's definitely the fact that it can make us feel so many different emotions.

A song can make us feel happy, excited, 
it can make us dance,
it can make us feel nostalgic,
and sad.
And sometimes it can just help us cope with our emotions. 

And because I think we need to celebrate our emotions more,
I've decided to start a new series.

The fun thing about a new series, is you never know how it goes.
You never know if you'll enjoy writing/hosting it, and you never know if anyone is going to enjoy it
 - until you test it out.

So that's what we're doing now, we're testing this.
I'm going to need your feedback, so please feel free to test this with me.

The point of "7 songs" is to celebrate different feelings whilst also celebrating the diversity of tastes.
I'm hoping to have more music guests to chat about their 7 songs, so let's see how this goes.

Ladies and Gentlemen, here are my 7 songs for 7 feelings.

I hope you enjoy!

1) a song which makes you dance:

"Rose-Colored Boy" - Paramore

I love songs that make me happy just by sounding fun and inviting you to dance.

However, "Rose-Colored Boy" takes things to another level; the instrumentals are so bubbly and sound so carefree, but the lyrics talk about the numb feelings connected to anxiety and depression.

This clever contrast makes this song even more brilliant to me, because the song is quite literally a metaphor and I think it's genius.
With this Pop situation, you'd think the lyrics would be rather shallow and catchy, but Hayley Williams just hits you with so much depth in such a sneaky way.

"you say we gotta look on the bright side,
I say well maybe if you wanna go blind
you say my eyes are getting too dark now,
but boy you ain't ever seen my mind" 


2) a song that calms you down:

"Stop This Train" - John Mayer

A bit of John Mayer can calm me down whenever I'm freaking out.

This song in particular is one of my favourite songs ever.
Now, I'm aware that the lyrics aren't particularly soothing, but the atmosphere of the song is just so enchantingly hypnotizing.

John Mayer's guitar playing is on another level, we don't need to discuss that.
But "Stop This Train" is one of his most beautiful compositions, in my opinion.


3) a song with a deep meaning:

"Weathered" - Jack Garratt

Put this song on and watch me turn into a sobbing mess.
Okay, it's not that extreme, but the personal connection I have with this song, just gets me really emotional.
I first heard this song when I was on a flight back home from Berlin. I bought the album when I had a wander around Berlin and put it on my iPod for when I was heading back home.
"Weathered" came on and it immediately soaked me in.

I have a lot of respect for Jack Garratt and love the way he crafts his music and also performs it.
 The backing vocals and the beats in this song are so powerful and I adore them.

When pretty much the entire crowd sang along to this song at Barn on the Farm 2016, I might've shed a tear or two.
"Weathered" is one of my all-time favourites and I'm so glad it exists.

"when you go, I'll know I'm old"


4) a song which makes you feel nostalgic:

"When Did Your Heart Go Missing?" - Rooney

Okay... I have a feeling that about 90% of you might know this song.
I knew the song, before I knew the band.

My first proper indie-rock gig was a Rooney show in a sweaty club in Stuttgart, Germany.
I still remember the excitement and the thrill of singing along to this song.
It's just one of those tracks you need to blast in the car and shout the words to - as loud as possible, no matter how terrible it may sound.

I have a lot of love for this band and for this song.
It doesn't take more than the guitar riff, to make me feel like I'm 14 again.


5) a song which has accompanied you for a while:

"Wrong Directions" - Martin and James

This song has been with me for a little more than six years now.

I first heard it when Martin and James supported Taylor Swift. The minute they started playing, I made everyone around me shut up - just so I could notice every little detail.
When they started playing "Wrong Directions", I knew they were going to be my new favourite band.

I've been able to work with these guys more times than I can count and this song has somehow always been involved. (our video intro is a re-arranged version of it which Martin wrote for us)

In 2012, I stole a line from the song and named this website after it.
So, I guess this track has been with me for a while, and I'm sure it'll stay a good friend.


6) a song from your favourite genre:

"Sharpshooter" - The Arkanes

I can't deny it, Rock is my favourite genre and I'm the happiest little person when I'm at a rock gig.
I just LOVE heavy drums, badass basslines and loud riffs and solos.

The Arkanes are without a doubt the most blogged band on here and I'll probably never get sick of their music.

When they started playing "Sharpshooter" the first time I saw them, I lost my mind and just had to dance.
It's a shame the band isn't active anymore, but I'm so glad I've got their songs to enjoy whenever I need a healthy dose of rock music.


7) a song by an artist/a band which has surprised you:

"Guillotine" by Jon Bellion ft. Travis Mendes

I have to admit, at first I thought Jon Bellion was one of those overrated artists who pop up every now and then.

But - thankfully - I eventually took the time to check out his work. And holy moly, I'm glad I did.
There is SO much depth and detail in his music, it's quite fabulous.
"Guillotine" has surprised me the most because of all the carefully crafted elements; it's not just a heavy beat - it's a bassline layered with acoustic guitar, piano, samples and even a string section.

I feel like a lyrics nerd, but I just need to quote this bit because I think it's brilliant:

"the secrets you tell me,
I'll take to my grave
there's bones in my closet,
but you hang stuff anyway
and if you have nightmares,
I know that you love me,
even when I lose my head

In case you'd like to learn more about the song, I highly recommend watching this making of video, it's super interesting.

And those were my 7 songs.
I really hope you enjoyed this little talk-through and maybe you even found a new song you've liked.

Come and say hi! Twitter | Instagram

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Words & Photography: Vanessa Jertschewske

Release Of The Day: "Ghosts" by Josh Savage

Hey guys!

Within the past five years, we have been able to learn a lot about this wild thing they call "the music industry".
It's one of those industries you can love and hate at the very same time. 

You have to constantly evolve, be present at all times and you have to be mega passionate about what you're doing.
And whilst all of that keeps you busy enough already, this mad industry still throws enough sticks and stones your way.

So yeah, it's not easy to keep going all the time - but thankfully, there are those hard working musicians who deserve all the respect and support we can offer.

And today we want to celebrate one hard working artist who just released a new song.
Check it out!

- Release Of The Day -
"Ghosts" by Josh Savage

Josh Savage is a self-managed and independent musician, originally from Winchester, UK - now based in London.

His sound can be described as Indie-Folk with Acoustic elements in it. You'll often find beautiful string arrangements in his songs.
So far, Josh independently released three EPs; "Mountains in Hurricanes", "Spaces" and "Quatre Épines" - the last one showcasing Josh's French roots. 

In 2015, Josh played 79 shows with Sofar Sounds - all across America and Europe, in just 5 months. You can stream the documentary made on the road on Vimeo -> "Living Room Tour".

His previous single "Whisper In The Snow" ft. Alice Pearl was played on Dermot O'Leary's BBC Radio 2 show by Jo Whiley and has been streamed over 260.000 times on Spotify.
And on this lovely day, Josh is treating us with a new release - his single "Ghosts".

"Ghosts" takes you on a dramatic ride through emotions.
It greets you with expressive strings, which will walk you through the song.

The verses are kept rather simple, with their focus on the calm acoustic guitar and Josh's warm vocals - a fantastic pairing.
A moody build-up in the pre-chorus prepares you for the big outburst in the chorus; it's loud, it's passionate and it's dramatic - the strings couldn't have been placed better to intensify the atmosphere.

The personal and frustratingly relatable lyrics literally tie you to the song and make you feel emotions, you didn't even know you were feeling.

Leave it to Josh's clever use of subtle backing vocals to underline the dramaturgy of the song
"Ghosts" is yet another proof that Josh Savage keeps on taking things to another level.

Listen to "Ghosts" below:

And just because we know you just fell in love with the song,
here's an acoustic version we recorded last month: 

- buy "Ghosts" -
- stream "Ghosts" -

Josh Savage online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Words & Video: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image: Josh Savage

EP Review: "The Drive" by Ava Rae Heatley

Hey guys!

Going through music submissions is one of those bittersweet tasks which running a blog comes with.
It's so exciting to open an email account which is bursting at the seams.

Figuring out how to listen to all submissions is the tricky part, but that shall be my problem.

It feels good to sit down and just write about the wonderful music out there.
Whenever we publish a new post, we know we just helped sharing new and exciting music.

It's a wonderful feeling and we encourage you all to share more music.
Share it online, share it with your friends, share it with strangers.
Sharing is caring and we all care about music, don't we?

Today we're back on the review train and have a lovely little EP review for you.

Artist: Ava Rae Heatley
Title: The Drive
Genre: Pop/Rock
Label: Independent
Release Date: 21st March 2017

Ava Rae Heatley is a singer/songwriter from Warwick (New York), USA.

Her sound is influenced by artists such as Sara Bareilles, Ben Folds and Elton John - creating a Pop/Rock meets Acoustic sound.
Ava started out playing at local coffee shops such as Caffe A La Mode in Warwick and Music at the Mission in New Jersey, where she's the winner of the open mic competition.

She has also been 95.3 DNH's "Discovered Artist of the month" in June 2017 which led to her song "Good For You" being played on their station for the entire month.

Please feel free to check out our review of "The Drive" below.

1) Where I'm Going
2) Good For You
3) The Drive
4) Two Showers
5) Don't You (Forget About Me)

Opener "Where I'm Going" welcomes you with simplicity - the raw audio file might confuse you at first, expecting there to be a high quality studio recording.
A few notes in, you'll forget all about the technical side of things. Ava Rae soaks you in with her stunningly mesmerizing vocals and harmonies that couldn't be more "on point" if they tried.
This acapella track is the perfect introduction for the EP.

Title track "The Drive" is a well created song; all elements co-exist in a beautiful, yet simple way.
 Throughout the first verse and chorus, the main focus is on Ava's voice which is just accompanied by the calm piano - this gives you time to get into the song, to understand it's depth.
The drums and the bassline give the song more grip and definition, and kindly guide you through the track.

The final track, "Don't You (Forget About Me)" is a beautiful cover of the Simple Minds classic.
Ava made the song her own by putting a stunning and hauntingly beautiful twist to it - she has focused on creating an intimate atmosphere and has done such a fantastic job. The simplicity is expressive and powerful, it demands all of your attention, which you'll gladly provide.

To sum it up: Ava has created an EP which combines beautiful harmonies, classy instrumentals, autobiographical lyrics, relatable stories and a charming full band pop sound.
"The Drive" leaves us excited to see what Ava Rae Heatley has coming up next!

You should listen to these tracks: Where I'm Going, The Drive, Don't You (Forget About Me)

- stream the EP -
- buy the EP -

Ava Rae Heatley online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Words: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image: Ava Rae Heatley

Video Of The Day: "I Know The Feeling" by Rhys Lewis

Hey guys!

We probably don't need to mention it, but over here on house in the sand, we all love music.
Everyone in the team, and probably everyone reading these posts, has a different taste - and that's pretty amazing.

However, most of us agree that music with a deeper message needs to be given an extra loud voice.

Songwriters who address social issues and break standarts that society has created - those songwriters deserve a lot of respect.

Last year we've discovered Rhys Lewis, a singer/songwriter from London.
He's been wow-ing us ever since and his latest release "I Know The Feeling" is now excuse.

Make sure to check out this fabulous track and learn more about the reason behind the song below. 

- Video Of The Day -
"I Know The Feeling" by Rhys Lewis

Rhys Lewis is a singer/songwriter based in London, UK.

His sound is going to make every classic Soul lover's heart beat - combining Soul with elements of Folk, Rock and Blues, Rhys is quickly creating a signature sound which will draw your attention to his work.

Spending most of the past year in studios in London, Nashville, Stockholm, Los Angeles and Berlin, the young musician has been writing and recording songs for his upcoming debut album.
His debut single "Waking Up Without You" hit #1 on Spotify's Viral Chart and reached 170 000 streams within two weeks.

Follow-up single "Living In The City" was just as strong and has now been streamed over 1.3 million times - a statement which probably speaks for itself.

To shorten the wait for his debut album, a few weeks back Rhys treated us with a live performance of a new song called "Could've Been" which was filmed at The Round Chapel in London.

And now he's here with a new music video for his most recent single "I Know The Feeling".

Rhys wrote the song for a friend who was going through a tough time. Both- the song and the music video- address the important topic that is men's mental health.

Just because we think what Rhys has to say, is absolutely brilliant, we'd like to quote him:
"I think there is a lot of bravado that surrounds being a guy and being 'macho' that stems from a dated idea of what being a man is - brave face, man up, and don't talk about your feelings. 
But in reality, it takes a great amount of courage and bravery to be honest and vulnerable about how you feel. The pressure to be happy all the time and to be living the perfect life on social media is greater than ever, but I think if men could actually feel more comfortable being open in front of people or a friend, then that can change a lot of things."

We couldn't agree more and would like the video to speak for itself.
Allow the lyrics and the visuals to raise awareness and to resonate with you.

Enjoy the music and send it to a friend who might need it.

Check out the fabulous video for "I Know The Feeling" here:

- buy or stream "I Know The Feeling" -

Rhys Lewis online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Words: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image & Quote: Rhys Lewis

Album Review: "Herodias" by The Lunar Year

Hey guys!

Random thought - have you ever wondered what an album would be like, if it were a person?
Maybe this question sounds like I've had too much to drink, but hear me out.

I think albums do have personalities.
Some are brutally honest, some cheer us up with their lightness, others allow us to be (passive) aggressive with their heavier traits and some just make us cry because of how melancholic they are.

So, if your favourite album was a person - would you be friends?

(Maybe this intro is a bit weird, but let's not dwell on that.)

Today we'd like to introduce you to an album, we would definitely befriend!

Band: The Lunar Year
Title: Herodias
Genre: Alternative
Label: Independent
Release Date: 16th June 2017

The Lunar Year are an indie-rock band from Philadelphia, USA.

The band are:
Katie Burke (vocals, piano)
Steve Heine (guitar, vocals)
Zach McCaw (bass)
Kevin Walker (drums)

The origins of the band's sound can be traced back to singer&songwriter Katie's childhood, which was shaped by multiple acts and genres.

With a love for The Beatles, Billy Joel and The Beach Boys, but also a huge interest in the Classical and Romantic era, the band's style is very open minded.

You'll find honest and personal lyrics, as well as relatable stories in The Lunar Year's repertoire.

Their single "Porcelain", aka the most beautiful song you've heard in a while, has reached over 145,000 streams on Spotify so far.

And now, we are so excited for you to read our review of their debut album "Herodias".


1) Parachute Lung
2) Wolves
3) Backyard Deck
4) Hey Mister Gray
5) The Brigade
6) Blue and Orange
7) Heady Love
8) Saturn's Rings
9) Porcelain
10) As Your Own
11) Herodias
12) Sirens

The album greets us with the strong, yet fragile "Parachute Lung".
The dark piano couldn't be more mesmerizing if it tried. As soon as you hear the first chords, you know you're about to witness something great.
The second singer Katie's vocals hit you, you'll feel completely paralyzed - unable to do anything but listen to her and the stories she has to tell.
A dynamic build-up unfolds the song and makes you want to keep it on repeat for days.
D A Y S.

One of the most charming tracks on the album is "Blue and Orange".
It reminds me of a Sunday afternoon, soft sunlight and carefree moments. The vocals lead us through the track, whilst the piano accompanies us the entire time and makes sure we feel comfortable and allow ourselves to dive into the music.

I remember when I first heard lead single "Porcelain" after finding it in our submissions inbox. I couldn't handle the beauty of this track and had to listen to it on repeat. Once we got to celebrate our fifth birthday with Katie's stunning performance of the song (watch here), the tears started to escape my eyes.
It's one of the most beautiful ballads we've discovered in a while; the calm piano paired with Katie's expressive vocals - it just gets us every time. The instrumentation is kept very simple - it's the piano, lead vocals, backing vocals and a light rhythm section. And honestly - that's all that's needed!

To sum it up: There's definitely a noticeable theme on "Herodias" - every track stands out and fills you with so many emotions. This album has easily made it onto our list of favourite debuts - I mean, how could it not?
The Lunar Year are a strong and talented band and we simply cannot wait for what is yet to come.

You should listen to these tracks: Parachute Lung, Heady Love, Blue and Orange, Porcelain

- buy "Herodias"
- stream "Herodias" -

The Lunar Year online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram

Thank you for your visit! 

Credits // Words: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image: The Lunar Year

New Music Every Month: Mark Mathews

Hey guys!

The longer we keep house in the sand going,
the more we appreciate all the creators we feature.

When you are constantly creating something new, you need a lot of energy and willpower to continue. Especially if you are emotionally connected to what you are working on.

I think we all need challenges every now and then, but it can be quite difficult to challenge yourself.

That's why we are thrilled to tell you more about our friend Mark Mathews and his incredible music challenge.

Mark Mathews is a singer/songwriter from London, UK.
He's been around since 2006 and is going stronger than ever.

Influenced by the legends such as The Beatles, The Kinks and Ryan Adams; Mark's sound is a mixture of folk and indie-pop.

You can catch Mark playing his way through London and the rest of the UK pretty much all the time.
With three EPs and one album out, he's got enough material to showcase his musical variety.

He's not planning on stopping any time soon and has a special project going on at the moment.

He has set himself the goal to release one new single every month throughout 2017.

And so far - he's nailing it!

Today marks the half way point of #NewMusicEveryMonth and in honour of that, we're here to showcase the six songs we've heard so far!

So buckle up - it's going to be one hell of a ride!


January: "Grape Juice"

"Grape Juice" got us shaking our hips like mad in January.
It was all about badass basslines and energetic rhythms - and it was exactly what we needed in the colder months.
Mark started the project with a funky gem and showed us that he's ready to boogie - and so are we.

Who needs alcohol when there's "Grape Juice"? Let's get this party started!


February: "California Quickly"

Mark is wonderful guy; after making us dance through January, he gave us a little break in February.
"California Quickly" slows down the pace a little and allows us to appreciate the calmer moments.

Who else gets the travel blues in February? I know, I do.
This track is one for all of us who need an escape every now and then.
The song still classifies as an upbeat track, but has its focus on the moody e-guitar riffs and percussions.

If ever we end up driving through California, we'll be blasting this fine tune!


March: "The Informer"

March was the month in which Mark allowed us to settle down for 4 minutes and 14 seconds.

With "The Informer" things got a little bit more thoughtful and atmospheric. The mood of the track definitely gets darker and more mysterious and takes you on an intense journey.

Mark has his way of letting you lose yourself in every track he puts out there - you find yourself noticing the details, the obvious elements and he makes you read between the lines, discovering even more class in each track.


April: "Dying To Stay Alive"

Loyal house in the sand readers might recognize April's gem - "Dying To Stay Alive".
Mark debuted this song during our fifth birthday party back in February.
(Check out his wonderful performance here.)

It's one of those tracks that you won't mind having on repeat for hours - it's rather simple, yet anything but shallow. The little e-guitar details give this acoustic guitar based track a lot of grip, whilst the backing vocals add depth and intensity.

This one really showcases Mr Mathews' writing skills.


May: "This Song's For You"

I'm sure we all know those tracks that just make you tap your feet along with the beat, right?

May track "This Song's For You" is one of those!
It's charming, it's up-tempo, it's light and it makes us happy - because we can all pretend that this song is for us.

One thing that stands out, is how many facettes Mark is showcasing with these tracks. You get a fascinating variety of sounds and genres - and all songs are so well put together. It's an absolute joy to listen to them.


June: "Ooh La La"

It's been a while since we had a boogie, right?
Well, fear not- Mark's got us covered.

"Ooh La La" is going to get you up on your feet as soon as you hear the first few chords.
It's got a carefree feeling to it. The funky bassline works hand in hand with the groovy riffs.
Mark's voice charmingly guides us through the track and makes sure we're all singing along to the catchy chorus.

With the sixth song of the year, we've reached the half way point and it just makes us even more excited for what's yet to come.

Mark Mathews online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram

And that's it - so far! Team HITS can't wait to hear the rest of the songs - #NewMusicEveryMonth has definitely given us something to look forward to each month.

Hats off to Mr Mathews!

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Words: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image: Martin Petty

Gig Impressions: Josh Savage & Matt Perriment in Vanessa's living room

Hey guys!

Have you ever sat in your own living room whilst being at a gig?

Okay, I know I just made that sound confusing, I'm sorry.
But that's exactly what I got to do earlier this month.

I hosted a living room show in my flat and it was marvelous.

Those of you who have been reading house in the sand for a while, probably have heard of Josh Savage before. We've featured him a couple of times and have been fans of his music ever since we first heard it.

Josh is known for touring the world, one living room at a time.
And just a little while back he was looking for people to host shows in their homes.

I got in touch and fast forward a couple of weeks, Josh and his support act Matt arrived in my hometown.

Below you'll find photos, you'll learn more about the musicians and you'll even get to watch a little video from the evening.

I hope you enjoy!


Date: 3rd June 2017
Venue: Vanessa's living room

Support Act: Matt Perriment

Matt Perriment is a London based musician.
He's been making music for 7 years now and has successfully found his signature sound; Indie-Folk meets Acoustic.

His debut EP, "Everlast", was all it took for him to build a loyal fanbase.
This year he'll be playing iconic London venues such as The Lexington, St Pancras Old Church, The Islington and many more.

Next up is his first headline show in London, at Servant Jazz Quarters on the 23rd of August. Make sure to head to his social media channels in order to get tickets.
After that, Matt will be touring New Zealand.

Matt Perriment online: Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | Instagram


Main Act: Josh Savage

Josh Savage is a self-managed and independent musician, originally from Winchester, UK - now based in London.

His sound can be described as Indie-Folk with Acoustic elements in it. You'll often find beautiful string arrangements in his songs.
So far, Josh independently released three EPs; "Mountains in Hurricanes", "Spaces" and "Quatre Épines" - the last one showcasing Josh's French roots. 

In 2015, Josh played 79 shows with Sofar Sounds - all across America and Europe, in just 5 months. You can stream the documentary made on the road on Vimeo -> "Living Room Tour".

His latest single "Whisper In The Snow" ft. Alice Pearl was played on Dermot O'Leary's BBC Radio 2 show by Jo Whiley and has been streamed over 260.000 times on Spotify.

His next release, "Ghosts" will be out on July 7th, so make sure you follow Josh to be the first to hear it.

Josh Savage online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram

Hosting this show was an absolute delight and I'm so glad it worked out.

It was fun to know that nobody in the audience had ever been to a living room show before, but thanks to that evening, they're expectations for the next one are really high.

If I had to compare this gig to a normal one, the first thing I'd point out is how relaxed and intimate the atmosphere was.
There was no talking in the audience, just a lot of respect and admiration for the musicians.

I was told that the guests also enjoyed being able to chat to Matt and Josh after the show, and how they've had the CDs on repeat since.

Below is a litte video filled with clips from both sets. You'll also find a clip of the two musicians playing Matt's song "Cattle Bay" after the show.

In case you can't get enough - which will be the case - click here for a cover of Rihanna's "Umbrella" and a performance of Josh's song "Lost In Paris" - both videos featuring my cat, Melody. (aka the real star)


Mega thank you to Josh and Matt for this fabulous show! Was a pleasure having you in town! 
 (I think even Melody thought you were alright!)

Here's a wee little group selfie I stole from Josh's channel. (thanks, ha!)

And that's it!
I really hope you enjoyed checking out this little multi-media impression of the gig.

In case you ever have the opportunity to host a show in your living room, please do it.
You'll have a wonderful evening and you'll help supporting independent artists.

We tend to take music for granted, but it's really a very special form of art - and we need to support the artists who create music for us to enjoy.

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Words, Videos & Photography: Vanessa Jertschewske

Release Of The Day: "Brother" by Kodaline

Hey guys!

Single releases are probably some of the most exciting releases;
they are new material from your favourite bands,
they are tasters of their next albums,
they are beginnings of new chapters.

Today we get to share a song with you, that we know is going to touch you.
It actually made us cry, the first time we listened to it.

One of house in the sand's favourite bands is back with new music and we couldn't be more excited!
Check it out!

- Release Of The Day -
"Brother" by Kodaline

Kodaline are a four piece band from Dublin, Ireland. Genre-wise they walk on the fine line between alternative and folk-rock
Singer Steve and guitarist Mark have known each other from school. Meeting drummer Vinny and former bassist Conor a few years later led them to start out as a band. As "21 Demands" the quartet was part of the Irish talent show "You're A Star" and came in second. 
After a busy time and a chart hit, things slowed down.

With a new bassist and a new band name - Kodaline was born. Their first selftitled EP brought out their song "All I Want" which found a lot of positive feedback, especially online. Soon that song was played on the TV series Grey's Anatomie and The Vampire Diaries.
In 2013 the press re-discovered the band and predicted big times for the Irish lads.  
Kodaline are:
Steve Garrigan (lead vocals, keyboards, rhythm guitar)
Mark Prendergast (lead guitar, backing vocals, keyboards)
Jason Boland (bass, backing vocals)
Vinny May (drums, percussion, backing vocals)

2015 was a whirlwind for the band; they released their fantastic record "Coming Up For Air", played tons of festivals, performed with Ed Sheeran and continued touring.

Late last year they slowed down the touring side of things and started writing and recording new material.

And today Kodaline are here with a new single!

"Brother" might be the most emotional song Kodaline have delivered so far.
I'm sure you've heard some of their old material, such as "High Hopes" and "All I Want" - and those songs have definitely touched our hearts - but "Brother" takes things to another level.

It's a tribute to brotherhood - whether that be the bond between siblings, or friends. 
The lyrics are personal, yet relatable and share intimate stories and emotions.

Sound wise, you can tell that Kodaline are going with the times and have adapted slightly more Pop based sound. However, they are staying true to their signature sounds - powerful percussions, energetic bass lines, gripping guitar riffs and stunning vocals - topped off with emotional piano pieces.

"Brother" highlights all of that - powerful instrumentations, big lead vocals and loud backing vocals.
You get to feel all the emotions through the music. The build-up of each element creates a hypnotizing atmosphere and completely soaks you in.

Paired with one of the most emotional music videos we have seen in a while, Kodaline have showed us once again that they're one of the finest bands around.
Keep an eye and an ear on them!

Check out the beautiful video for "Brother" below:

- buy "Brother" -
- stream "Brother" -

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

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Words: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image: via Sony Music GER

update: told you so

Hey guys!

- "for all I know, the best is over and the worst is yet to come" -

Do you know those moments in which you feel a certain emotion and then start to dramatise literally everything?

I do.

It's not the most exciting or positive thing to admit, but hey - honesty is the best policy.
So, yeah.. today I'd like to give you an update on what's been going on over here recently.

I haven't done something like that in absolute ages, probably years.
But house in the sand has always been a very honest and pretty open space of web. Those of you, who started this journey with me in 2012, might still remember the topics I used to write about.

And today I'm bringing some of it back.
I want to write about what has been going on behind the scenes lately.

I'm sure some of you have noticed that we haven't been as loud as usual.
There have been less posts on the website and less interaction on Social Media.

That's not because we don't love all of this anymore, it's because I got a little tired.

Tired as in - tired.
Not tired of music, writing or anything.
I just realised I had a bit too much on my plate and it killed my creativity.

I tried to fight the tiredness. And I tried to deny it.
But I have realised, that it's absolutely fine to feel like this every now and then.

If you pour a lot of personality and a lot of love into something, you are bound to feel a little exhausted. 

It takes a lot of work to be present on all fronts - because there are a lot of fronts;
there's social media, there's the actual website you need to fill with content, there are thousands of emails that need to be read and answered, there's a team that depends on your skills as an editor and there are your own expectations.

And sometimes you just end up feeling a bit too busy and your spirit just shuts down.

And in my case, I became a bit hysterical because I felt like I was wasting my time - not being able to be on top of my game.

But little old me found some adult-y wisdom and feels better now.
I figured out that this is all very natural and that there are way worse things than not being the most productive person on the web.

Taking some time away from the busy side of things, has allowed me to be more creative and to focus on photography and design. And it was fun!

So yeah - long story short - felt stressed, had no creativity, took time off, now I'm back.
I felt like writing this to explain why it has been a bit quiet around here.
Hopefully, if you have ever felt a bit hopeless and tired, you've managed to take some wisdom with you.

No matter how unproductive you feel, times are going to get better.

You can expect a lot more posts again and I hope you are looking forward to the upcoming noise!

One more thing - please let me make it clear that the photography, outfit and artwork for this post are heavily inspired by Paramore's "Told You So" music video.
There were no intentions of copying it, just paying tribute to a song that I love very much.

So check it out below:

In case you feel like connecting - you can:

house in the sand on social media: twitter | facebook | soundcloud | youtube | instagram

Vanessa on social media: twitter | instagram

Thank you for your visit! 

Credits // Words & Photography: Vanessa Jertschewske | artwork was heavily inspired by Paramore's "Told You So"

Video Of The Day: "The Bridge" by Chris Stringer

Hey guys!

house in the sand has been running for almost five and a half years now.
That's a long time in which we've heard thousands of songs - actually, I would be great to know how many exactly.

We get to watch the trends and charts change,
 we get to see new artists on the rise, 
we get to stay in love with our old favourites,
and we get to watch exciting acts evolve.

It's an absolute joy to be a part of all of the above and we can't wait for the next years.

Today we're excited to share another fabulous find with you. 

- Video Of The Day -
"The Bridge" by Chris Stringer

Chris Stringer is a singer/songwriter originally from Swansea, UK - now based in London.

Influenced by acts such as Bruce Springsteen and Fleetwood Mac, his love for Folk, Rock & 80s Pop was shaped by some of the best.

Chris' own sound could be described as Alternative Country which ties in Folk elements.

He has shared the stage with Nizlopi, Luke Concannon, The Blanks and more.
Chris has easily built himself a loyal fanbase with his unique, yet comforting and exciting sound.

You can now catch him with his new band, The Rocketeers.

Chris' most recent song, "The Bridge", highlights both - Chris' soulful and soothing voice, as well as his signature guitar sound.
The calm atmosphere of the song allows you to lose yourself in the sounds and the lyrics - you get to dive into the meanings and the details.

"The Bridge" takes you on a journey and once the song ends, you feel like you've just woken up from a dream. It's a rare thing to feel, but this song makes it happen.

Check out the official video for "The Bridge" below:

Chris Stringer online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Words: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image & Video: Chris Stringer

Video Of The Day: "Don't Matter Now" by George Ezra

Hey guys!

In 2013, parts of the music industry were stunned and surprised by a deep and bluesy voice - coming out of a British singer/songwriter in his early 20s.

Yes, I'm talking about George Ezra, the guy who sang this little tune called "Budapest".
We quickly fell in love with his voice and his charismatic performances and had the best time singing along to his catchy songs.

He's here with a new single now, which we might as well classify as the soundtrack of Summer 2017.
Check it out!

- Song Of The Day -

"Don't Matter Now" by George Ezra

George Ezra is a singer/songwriter from Bristol, UK.
His sound mixes Blues with Soul-Pop and Acoustic-Folk here and there.

George studied at the Institute of Modern Music in Bristol and has been making music for a while.

In 2012, he played BBC Introducing, after his song "Angry Hill" was picked by BBC Bristol.
In 2013, George played at Glastonbury and released his debut EP "Did You Hear The Rain?" on which you can find his mega hit "Budapest".

Another EP ("Cassy O'", 2014) and a debut album ("Wanted On Voyage", 2014) later, George Ezra had made himself a name and was considered one of the most exciting newcomers.

Now he's back with a new single, "Don't Matter Now" - and it's exactly what Summer sounds like.

"Don't Matter Now" definitely marches into the cheerfulness of Pop music.
 Carried by an uptempo beat, a funky riff and cheery wind instruments - this song allows us all to be carefree.
The fun chants in the verses, you just can't help but sing along - immediately.

It's definitely one of George's catchiest songs to date, yet it still wins you over with a lot of charm. And of course, his bluesy and deep voice.

Check out the official video for "Don't Matter Now":

- buy and stream "Don't Matter Now -

George Ezra online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram

Thank you for your visit! 

Credits // Words: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image: via Belle Music

Song Of The Day: "High On Humans" by Oh Wonder

Hey guys!

Quite recently I found myself having a wonderful conversation with a stranger.
To this day, I don't know his name and he doesn't know mine, but we started talking about organic food, animals, politics, war, religion and music.

It was one of those conversations, which just make you want to run from house to house and talk to people you don't know.

I find conversations with new people so important, because they fuel our minds, they shape our opinions and broaden our horizons. And they often just cheer us up by giving us the feeling of community.

UK duo Oh Wonder would probably agree with me, given their recent single "High On Humans" is all about connecting with strangers.
So, just to stay sane in this scary time we're living in, we want to share the track with you today.

- Song Of The Day -
"High On Humans" by Oh Wonder

Oh Wonder are a duo based in London, UK.
Consisting of Josephine Vander Gucht and Anthony West, their music can best be described as Alternative-Pop.

Oh Wonder's career started in September 2014, when the two musicians started writing, recording, mixing and releasing one song a month. This led to their self-titled debut album, which was released on September 4th 2015.
Just one week after its release, the duo played sold out shows in London, Paris, New York City and Los Angeles.
Soon Oh Wonder made their TV debut, got support slots on big tours, played tons of festivals, did a session with BBC Radio 1 and went on their own headline tours.

In March 2017, Josephine and Anthony announced the release of their upcoming album, "Ultralife" which will be out on July 14th 2017.

After already releasing multiple singles from the album, they have recently shared "High On Humans" with us.

Greeted by a computer human - the sounds of Apple's trusty Siri - "High On Humans" quickly turns into an upbeat track. It's danceable from the very first beat on and invites you to feel cheerful and happy.

The two vocalists create a wonderfully refreshing contrast with their voices, leading us through the song. You can tell that the lyrics/the storytelling is the main focus of the song.
Very melodic vocal elements are paired with exciting synths and a classical piano based. You can tell the song has been carefully crafted, but has also been given the modern Pop sound.

Here's what Oh Wonder say about the track:
"High On Humans was inspired by a tube journey. On the way back from Heathrow Airport, I eavesdropped on a conversation between two girls who worked in a sunglasses shop at the terminal. They were happily going back and forth discussing their favourite foods. When one girl declared that she didn’t like hot sauce, I rudely interrupted and said, ‘What do you mean you don’t like hot sauce?!’. We then proceeded to have a twenty minute conversation about food, and the three of us exited the carriage high on adrenaline having connected with strangers.

I then went onto another train and chatted to a man who had knocked all his teeth out and was covered in blood. It created a carriage-wide conversation about injuries and operations. Everyone’s mood seemed lifted by this random interaction with the unknown. On the way back home from the station, I sang ‘I’m getting high on humans’ into voice notes on my phone, and sat down with Anthony to fully write it the next day.

This song celebrates the potential to ‘get high’ and feel liberated by talking to strangers. It’s something we all fear, and something we should all do more of..."

Listen to "High On Humans" below:

- pre-Order "Ultralife" here -

Oh Wonder online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Words: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image & Quote: Oh Wonder