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!

Song Of The Day: "Fame" by Liam McClair

Hey guys!

I'm sure a lot of you know that music bloggers usually get to hear songs before they are out.
It's a logical part of the industry - it gives us enough time to get to know a song/an EP/an album properly and lets us schedule our reviews.

Usually it's super helpful and of course, as we're all music lovers, it's great to hear new tracks before they are released.

But sometimes it's torture.
Hearing a track before it's released also means that you can't share it with anyone just yet.
And when a song is so good that you just want to share it, that's quite frustrating.

I had that "ughhh" moment when I got to listen to Liam McClair's newest single,
but hey - the torture is over - the song is out today! Hooray!

- Song Of The Day -
"Fame" by Liam McClair

Liam McClair is a singer/songwriter from Manchester, UK.
His sound can be classified as acoustic/folk with raw pop elements.

Most of Liam's recordings are guitar based and vocals focused.
 But you'll still find piano ballads and harmonica instrumentals paired with supportive percussions whilst listening to Liam's repertory.

With strong live performances Liam has convinced crowds all over the UK and even made it to Belgium, Holland and Germany to play his music.
 Music fans from all over the world are drawn to his sound. He has supported acts like Newton Faulkner and Echo & The Bunnymen.

Once you're familiar with Liam's sound, you'll find yourself coming back to it all the time - it's timeless.

Now he's here with his brand new song, "Fame" - and it's SO GOOD.

The song starts off in a calm way, just a soft acoustic guitar, paired with a few moody e-guitar notes.
Soon Liam's voice joins the party and demands your full attention - warm, expressive & inviting vocals are what you get from the singer/songwriter.

Taking an interesting and different approach with this lyrics, Liam tells a story of being a famous person and being overwhelmed with said fame. It makes you think you're listening to a celebrities diary being read out loud.

Full instrumentation kicks in and gives the song more depth and grip - both, drums and bass work together in a powerful, yet subtle way.
The howling e-guitar returns from time to time and plays an important part in the song.

Even though the song has a slower pace to it, it's anything but dull.
Liam McClair has managed to record yet another fantastic track, which is going to turn you into a huge fan.
Embrace it!

Listen to "Fame" below:

- buy the song -
- stream it -

Liam McClair online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram

Thank you for your visit! 

Credits // Text: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image: Liam McClair

Gig Photos: Mayday Parade at Webster Hall, New York

Hey guys!

I am so happy about the growth we see in our team.
It sounds incredibly cheesy - I'm very aware of that - but getting to work with some of my favourite photographers, is an absolute joy.

It means we get to cover a wider spectrum of artists, genres and locations - and that's just brilliant.

Today we get to welcome Sam Lichtenstein to the team!
She's a New York based music photographer and I'm super stoked to have her on board.

You can learn more about Sam by clicking here.
Please also support her on Social Media: website | instagram

Check out Sam's fantastic photos of Milestones, Knuckle Puck and Mayday Parade below.

Date: 9th May 2017
Venue: Webster Hall, New York City

 Act #1: Milestones

Milestones are a five-piece outfit from Manchester, UK.

Combining Pop, Punk and Alternative, the band has created a refreshing and unique signature sound.

Milestones are:
Matthew John Clarke (vocals)
Andrew Procter (guitar)
Mark Threlfall (bass)
Andrew Makin (drums)
Eden Leviston (guitar)

In their songs the band tells personal and relatable stories.
Signed to Fearless records, their latest release "Equal Measures" hit stores in July 2016.

Check out their music video for "Call Me Disaster" below:

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


Act #2: Knuckle Puck

Knuckle Puck are a five-piece Pop-Punk band from Chicago, USA.

Starting out with multiple EPs, honing their craft and building a loyal fanbase, their debut album "Copacetic" was released on Rise Records in 2015.
Combining keyboard elements to show another side of the band, as well as their energetic and loud live qualities, the band's debut album was well received.

Knuckle Puck are:
Joe Taylor (vocals)
John Siorek (drums)
Ryan Rumchaks (bass)
Kevin Maida (guitar)
Nick Casasanto (guitar)

Check out Knuckle Puck's live music video for "Oak Street" below:

Knuckle Puck online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram


Headliner: Mayday Parade

Mayday Parade are a Rock band from Florida, USA.

Formed in 2005, the band has shaped the industry by constantly working hard and making their way to the top of their niche.

Mayday Parade are:
Derek Sanders (vocals)
Jeremy Lenzo (bass, vocals)
Alex Garcia (guitar)
Brooks Betts (guitar)
Jake Bundrick (drums, vocals)

Check out their latest music video "Let's Be Honest" here:

Mayday Parade online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram

And that's our coverage!
Let us know if you went to any of the shows of the tour.

Thank you for your visit!


Credits // Text: Vanessa Jertschewske | Photography: Sam Lichtenstein for house in the sand | **ticket & photo pass have kindly been provided**

Performance Of The Day: "Could've Been" by Rhys Lewis

Hey guys!

One thing I've learned within the past five years of music blogging, is that you find some of the greatest acts when you aren't trying to find them.

Okay, I think I made that sound complicated, so let me break it down a little bit.

I have discovered some of my favourite acts when I didn't expect to discover them.
Let's take Martin and James as an example;
I first heard them live back in 2011 when they supported Taylor Swift. I had no clue who they were, but the minute they started playing, I knew I had just found my new favourite duo.

Moments like that kept happening multiple times over the years and they've definitely taught me to check out every support act, as well as checking out acts at festivals you don't know yet.

I did exactly that at last year's Barn on the Farm festival and to my delight, I go to watch Rhys Lewis play a fantastic set.

For those of you who haven't seen Rhys live yet- the Internet has got your back!

- Performance Of The Day -
"Could've Been" 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, Rhys has treated us with a live performance of a new song called "Could've Been" which was filmed at The Round Chapel in London.

Greeting you with a catchy and soul driven riff, you just know that you're in for a treat.
Said riff returns multiple times throughout the song and quickly becomes a familiar friend.
The souly e-guitar is part of Rhys' refreshing signature sound - it's warm, it's inviting and it's honest.

Personal and relatable lyrics seem to be what's pouring out of the musician.
He knows how to illustrate short-film stories with his words - they are straight foward and very clear.

Rhys' voice is just as fascinating as his writing skills.
His warm and expressive voice just hits all the notes and transports all the emotions he's feeling.
Combined with heavenly soothing backing vocals, we're getting the full package here.

Rhys Lewis is a brilliant live artist, who doesn't need much gear to wow you.
And "Could've Been" proves that point perfectly.

Check out "Could've Been" below:

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

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Text: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image: via WMA.Agency

EP Review: "The Recall" by John Thacker

Hey guys!

Personally, one of the coolest things I get to experience with house in the sand, is being able to see artists grow.
Everyone grows as a person, and if you have a creative job, your art is most likely to grow as well.

It's so exciting to see everyone around me work so incredibly hard to be constantly improving.

Today I get to review an EP by an artist I have seen work hard to take things to another level, so make sure to check out his latest work.

Artist: John Thacker
Title: The Recall
Genre: Pop, Alternative
Label: Independent
Release Date: 12th May 2017

John Thacker is a musician from Manchester, UK.
His sound varies from Acoustic to Pop and back to Alternative - with hints of R'n'B and Electronic.

John's music is very autobiographical and very relatable, which is a quality you want to find in a musician.
In 2015, John released his debut EP "Hear" which, unlike most EPs, included 12 tracks.

After building himself a loyal fanbase over the years, he is now here with a new EP, "The Recall"
 - so let's check it out!

1) Stories / Intro
2) Control (ft. Tony Jaxx)
3) You Want Me
4) Be Alright
5) My Words: Bedroom Diary, 2015 / Interlude
6) Anybody (live)

Opener track "Stories / Intro" welcomes you with electrifying, yet gentle beats and spacey elements.
John's voice guides you through the track- it demands your attention, but is still calming enough to not drown you.
If you have been a listener of John's for a while, you'll quickly notice the differences in his new material - and you'll embrace it.

"You Want Me" is going to get you on your feet - slowly, but surely.
The build-up in the verse is tastefully done and prepares you to launch into the chorus which is carried by danceable beats.
It's a catchy, up-tempo track which is definitely goint to find its way onto some Summer playlists.

"Be Alright" calms you down with a slightly souly R'n'B vibe.
  It convinces with less beats and more depth. The gentle raspiness in John's voice works hand in hand with the instrumentation.
This track is one that's best listened to when you can just sit down and focus on all the little details in it.

To sum it up: There are no doubts - John has grown a lot as a musician and presented a more mature piece of art with this EP.
You'll find lots of different elements on "The Recall"; it's an EP which takes you to different places and different memories - all within just six tracks.

You should listen to these tracks: Stories, Be Alright

Check out John's acoustic performance of "Stories" below:

- buy EP -
- stream EP -

John Thacker online: Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Text: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image: John Thacker

Song Of The Day: "And I'm Leaving" by Leslie Clio

Hey guys!

I've got a question for you:
What do you do when you're in a bad mood?

Me? I either blast some of my favourite songs and sing along as loud as I can.
Or I plan a trip to some other place. I love travelling, and whenever I feel stuck in a rut, booking a flight and disappearing for a bit, is exactly what keeps me going.

Today's Song Of The Day seems to be my new soundtrack.
It has been on repeat for the past hour, and I'm not done yet.

- Song Of The Day -
"And I'm Leaving" by Leslie Clio

Leslie Clio is a singer/songwriter from Berlin, Germany.
Her sound combines Soul and Pop in such effortless and graceful manner.

In 2013 she released her debut album, "Gladys". The second single of that record, "Couldn't Care Less", did more than just well and ended up on two soundtracks.

Follow-up album "Eureka" proved the singer was no one-hit wonder and made 2015 another successful year for Leslie.

With singles "Darkness Is A Filler" and "And I'm Leaving", she has given us great tasters of what to expect from her third album, "Purple" - which will be out on May 19th.

"And I'm Leaving" is something you'd expect from Leslie, yet it surprises with funky elements.
A few seconds into the song, it becomes evident - Leslie Clio is here with another hit.
The up-beat instrumental uniting Pop and Funk makes you want to get up and dance.

Leslie's voice has been a hit from the first song we've ever got hear - her deep and souly vocals just demand your full attention.
There's something so cool and badass about her - and it's exactly what we need in this industry!

Check out the music video for "And I'm Leaving" below:

- buy and stream album "Purple" -

Leslie Clio online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Text: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image: via Guerilla Music

EP Review: "Don't Kill My Vibe" by Sigrid

Hey guys!

Last year I couldn't get over the amount of fantastic releases we've been given in the course of the year.
This year is no different.

We have already been up on our feet, dancing to the funky DNCE and relaxing to the beautifully calming Mighty Oaks.
Music is a piece of art we are always going to need in our lives, so it's important to celebrate the exciting releases those fantastic acts put out there.

Today we get to chat about an artist you don't want to miss out on - Sigrid.

Artist: Sigrid
Title: Don't Kill My Vibe
Genre: Pop
Label: Island Records
Release Date: 5th May 2017

Sigrid is a singer/songwriter originally from a tiny place in Norway.
At the age of 18, she moved to Bergen, Norway and quickly became a part of Bergen's music scene.

Her bold and modern pop sound is shaking up the industry, one day at a time.
Now signed to Universal Music, the young musician is hyped as one of the most exciting break through acts of 2017.

"Righty so?" you might be wondering, well - find out by checking out her debut EP, "Don't Kill My Vibe".

1) Don't Kill My Vibe
2) Plot Twist
3) Fake Friends
4) Dynamite (Acoustic)

The EP greets you with the title track, "Don't Kill My Vibe" - an anthem suitable for everyone.
Starting off calmy in the verse, the song gives you enough time to sink into the depth of it.

 A powerful build-up in the chorus gets you dancing like there's no tomorrow.
Sigrid's vocals guide you through the track and go hand in hand with the instrumentals- the calm and deeper notes in the verses seem carefully placed, whilst the raspy and energetic vocals in the chorus show what Sigrid is capable of.
In case you're looking for a sassy Summer anthem - "Don't Kill My Vibe" is your jam!

Another great track on the EP is "Fake Friends".
Sounding a little more indie in the beginning, the song takes you on a journey of sounds, reaching its highest point in the chorus with a danceable beat and layered vocals.
"Fake Friends" is another track which seems to present all of Sigrid's vocal range - from high notes, to smokey and super expressive tones- she's got it all, and knows how to use it.

To tie things in neatly, we have "Dynamite", the last track of the EP.
It's a stunning piano based ballad with a very emotional and melancholic feeling to it.
The young musician sounds as delicate and vulnerable in the most hautingly beautiful way possible.

To sum it up: This four-track EP is enough evidence to prove that Sigrid has an enormous amount of facettes, which we cannot wait to hear more of. 2017 is going to be a loud year for Sigrid - make sure to keep an eye and ear on her.

You should listen to these tunes: Fake Friends, Dynamite

Check out Sigrid's beautiful performance of "Dynamite" below:

- buy or stream -

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

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Text: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image & Video: Sigrid (via Island Records)

Video Of The Day: "Downhill From Here" by Alx Green

Hey guys!

When you're working on your own and also for yourself, you sometimes lose sight of what you're working towards.
It's a natural cycle that you sometimes just slip into without really noticing.

As I've mentioned in a previous post, a lot of times it's the music which really pulls me out of this rather unpleasant cycle.
All it takes to spark the flame, is a song you really want to write about and share with everyone who is interested.

And that's why we have another brilliant song for you today.

Video Of The Day:
- "Downhill From Here" by Alx Green -

Alx Green is a singer/songwriter from Chester, UK.
His sound combines modern Folk with classic Blues elements.
He released multiple demo EPs before recording and releasing his first studio EP in 2016.

Touring Europe in 2015 and constantly releasing music, got him the attention and support of BBC Radio 2, BBC Introducing, BBC Radio Merseyside and many more.

After dropping everything to fully focus on his music, Alx started to make himself a name, touring over 22 cities on one tour and shaping his craft.

Alx is now here with a brand new music video for his song "Downhill From Here".
I sometimes like having songs for certain seasons - even though any song can be heard at any given time of the year. Some songs just really suit a certain time of year.

"Downhill From Here" is the perfect song for a day in Spring; the melancholic melody is light enough to not weigh you down. Alx' vocals are as smooth as ever and have a calming effect on the listener.

The guitar work on this track is absolutely brilliant and I'm definitely lacking words.
It combines the prettiest finger picking with enchantingly expressive percussions and beautiful strumming.

You'll just have to check it out yourself, you won't be disappointed.

It's music like this which makes running house in the sand such a joyful task.

Check out the video below:

- buy it -
- stream it -

Alx Green online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram

Thank you for your visit! 

Credits // Text: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image & Video: Alx Green