In The Studio: Jim Kroft

Here's what it looks like when you record an album within 48 hours.

Women In Music

What is it like working in the music industry as a woman?

Gig Photos: Jack Garratt

Photos and a very chaotic review of Jack's sold out show at Freiheiz, Munich.

Gig Photos: Noah Guthrie

Impressions from the talented musician's first gig in Stuttgart.

Audio Interview: Rhodes

The very talented and very lovely Rhodes gave us a call and it was great!

Behind The Song: "Weirdos and Freaks" by Honey and Jude

Hey guys!

I absolutely love music which was written in order to help people.
Music is such a personal thing and I'm sure we can all relate to a lot of songs in very emotional ways.

Music is powerful and it allows listeners to unwind, forget, relate, cry and laugh to.
And because here on house in the sand, we love everything that has been created for a beautiful reason, we've made it our mission to present those songs to you.

Today we have a band here to chat about a fabulous track.

Honey and Jude are a duo from Los Angeles, USA.

In their music the two singers combine drama, sunshine, edgy vibes and blend it into a bubbly Pop sound.
The songs Honey and Jude have released so far have all been well received. Everybody needs some LA sunshine to listen to and these two know how to deliver it. It's amazing!

Today the duo is here to chat about a song they've recently released, called "Weirdos and Freaks".
It's a very special song and I'm super excited for you to learn more about it.

Here's what Honey and Jude have to say about it:

"Weirdos and Freaks" is a very special song for us. We wrote it for our fans who are currently experiencing and have experienced bullying in the past. With lyrics like "here's to the weirdos and the freaks; we don't pretend, we just be who we wanna' be", we hope to empower people everywhere to be true to themselves and to be proud of what makes them different.

The song came about one day when we were perusing through Facebook. We saw a post from a fan where he was talking about how he was being bullied and how defeated he felt. He wanted to give up on school and give up on people, in general.
We started noticing a trend amongst our fans where they were posting about how they were being called names and made to feel like freaks. We felt like it was a cry for a help that we wanted to help answer, in at least some small way. We wrote the song "Weirdos and Freaks" that same day, and have been on a mission ever since to help make a difference and assure victims of bullying of their personal worth.

Because we have experienced the negative effects of bullying personally, being authentic during the recording process was important to us. It was fun, because we got to be super spunky and rebellious when we sing lines like "you're just not worth it and I ain't got time." We imagine these are all the kinds of things any person would want to say to their bullies, but just never had the chance or the platform to.
We hope that people will think of this single as an anthemic anti-bullying battle song that gives them the spark of confidence they need to keep going and to embrace the beauty in being themselves.

We have created a new section on our website where people can access resources that will help them if they are being bullied. They can also share their story of having triumphed over bullying with everyone else. Lastly, we encourage our followers to use our hashtag #beautifulfreaks to show their friends that they are proud of who they are, quirks and all.

Listen to "Weirdos and Freaks" below:

Honey and Jude online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram

Previous "Behind The Song" stories:
The Old Border | Taylor James Eary | Keeva | Chris Tavener

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Text intro: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image & Text bold: Honey and Jude for house in the sand

Song Of The Day: "Waking Up Without You" by Rhys Lewis

Hey guys!

As a reviewer, you know you're in for a treat when you're immediately hitting the "repeat" button without thinking twice.
Exactly that happened to me just yesterday, when Rhys Lewis released his brand new track.

I first heard Rhys' music at Barn on the Farm festival this year. A random stroll to the Over Barn stage was all it took for me to find an artist I couldn't wait to showcase on HITS.

Let's keep this intro short and sweet- just remember to listen to the song because I know that at least 97% of you will love it!
(You're wondering how I could predict that? I lurk, my dear audience. I lurk.)

Rhys Lewis is a singer/songwriter based in London, UK. 
The musician spent his past year in the studios of thrilling cities such as London, Nashville, Stockholm, LA and Berlin.
After playing multiple festival slots this year, the anticipation of his growing social media followers, has finally been treated with his debut release, "Waking Up Without You".

Out of all places Rhys has travelled, the song has been recorded in a converted water tower on the Isle of Wight, together with the production duo Boe Weaver.

"Waking Up Without You" welcomes you with a warm and slightly edgy electric guitar riff.
Just when you think this track is going to be a fierce rock song, Rhys Lewis shows you how what a plot twist sounds like.
For the first verse, the singer/songwriter takes it back to a softly plugged guitar and supporting drum beats. This allows you to really take in the soul in his voice, which you'll enjoy. Trust me.
Backing vocals are super subtle throughout the entire song and that's perfectly fine. They let the main vocals do the work and highlight a few bits here and there.

That thought you had in the beginning, thinking the track was going to have a rock vibe to it?
You were right.
The edgy guitar comes back in the chorus and proves that one can gracefully combine soul and rock in one track. 
But it's not just the instrumentation which bursts into a full-on storm, it's also Rhys himself.
Rhys' voice controls the track and perfectly transports the frustration one feels when a sweet relationship has ended. The way he effortlessly switches from smooth and souly to raspy and smokey, definitely proves why he's "one to watch".

The drums get their own moment of intensity in the middle 8; whilst it's been a fine companion throughout the song, it's now time for the drum beat to take over.
Our friend the e-guitar is stripped back to souly plugging in order to let the beat fill the song. The abrupt beats give me a low-key Jack Garratt vibe and give the song another great twist.

To sum it up? "Waking Up Without You" is that kind of song you get lost in. You start to feel the emotions of the song, whether you can relate to them or not.
It's energetic, it's well produced, it's gold.

Now, go ahead and listen to "Waking Up Without You" below!
In case you don't use Spotify, click here for a preview of the song.

Get the song: iTunes | Amazon

London peeps- you can catch Rhys live on November 22nd, details here.

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

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Text: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image: Rhys Lewis

Interview: Colorworks

Hey guys!

I'll be honest with you, I've forgotten how enjoyable written interviews can be!
I feel like I've gotten carried away with the fast paced aspects of video and phone (audio) interviews. They are a lot of fun and I love, love, love producing them.

However it's unbelievably calming to just sit down and conceive an email interview.
It allows the bands to take a bit more time and to really get deep and detailed with their answers.

Obviously, that's a great thing and therefore I'm super stoked to present you an interview with Colorworks today!

Colorworks are a four piece band from Seattle, USA.
They describe their sound as psychedelic breakup Pop, if that sounds confusing to you- they'll be explaining that in the interview.

With their energetic live shows and their EPs (Joyla Red, Dreams of Mangoes), the band easily built themselves a loyal fanbase.

Colorworks are:
Bret Dylan (guitar & vocals)
Nick Myette (bass & vocals)
David Easton (guitar & keys)
Andrew Ginn (drums & percussion)

In our interview below, the band chats about the 60's, their gear, how a lemon scented spray cleaner almost knocked the band out and a lot more!
Enjoy reading!

house in the sand: Hi Colorworks, thanks for taking the time to chat to us!
Your recent The Kinks medley is great! I've read you started out with the intention to do a lot of 60's covers- did those covers ever influence your own sound?

Colorworks: Without a doubt. Our intention in the beginning was to learn a number of our favorite songs from the 1960's to learn *how* to be a pop band. Andrew (drums), Nick (vocals, bass) and I (Bret  - vocals, guitar) grew up on punk rock, and though we all had done different kinds of musical projects over the years, none of us had ever actually had the experience of playing bright, jangling chords over a simple pop beat.
I remember the first time we were playing "California Dreamin'" and I thought "Wow, this song works so well, and the arrangement is so simple!". Of course the music is the easy part to that song, the vocals on the other hand took a good long while. But that was our entire incubation stage, and we still learn covers to continue having the experience of playing great songs, because you can't substitute that experience. When it comes to our original songs, we definitely look to older records for inspiration.

HITS: When it comes to your own material; which topics do you find yourself writing about the most?

Colorworks: I seem to have a hard time writing anything other than first person, though that isn't from a lack of trying! Nick is a bit freer in terms of perspective, though all our songs tend to be very personal. When we first started this band, Nick and I both were reeling from relationships that ended on bad terms, and so our first EP "Joyla Red" is all relationship songs. We joke that our genre is "psychedelic breakup pop" because it seems every other song is a failed relationship song, even when the music is upbeat, à la Smokey Robinson.
We're both in better places now and so lyrically we've been exploring our childhood a bit. We're both from Seattle, so green trees, lakes and mountains have been a part of our lives since we could remember. Our next record will have a good amount of nature vibes on it, along with relationships, of course, haha.

HITS: Do you have your go-to gear? Are there any brands you prefer using?

Colorworks: Absolutely. We can't seem to stop modifying our gear, actually. David (vocals, guitar, keys) plays through a Vox AC15 modded by our friend and producer, Andrew Bloom, with a Celestion speak and better tubes, and that amp just kicks.
I had the stock P90s swapped out of my Epiphone Casino for Seymour Duncans and the difference is night and day.
We also love vintage gear, when we can afford it, I'm keen on old Ampeg guitar amps and play primarily through a 1965 Ampeg Gemini I.
David plays a 1967 Guild Starfire IV and I just picked up a 1969 Harmony Sovereign which will play a big role on our next record. I don't think it's coincidental that we play gear from the 60's, haha. Vintage gear has tons of mojo to it, but it's so damn expensive that I guess we are attracted to the ugly ducklings rather than the big name companies, as much as we'd like to have that gear as well. But I swear those old Ampeg Gems have cleans that would make a new Fender Twin blush.

Nick plays through Fender Jazz basses and an Ampeg Portaflex on stage. And we've been lucky getting access to a great little old Ampeg bass amp in the studio that punches like a lightweight boxing champion. Andrew is sponsored by Allegra Drums from Portland, and how he will tell you about his feisty little kit...

Andrew: I was lucky enough to receive an artist endorsement from Allegra last October. I play a custom kit from their "Big Baby" series. All drums in this series have shallow depths. My current setup is a 22x10(!) kick, 12x7 rack and a 15x11 floor tom. They are currently building me a custom 14x7 snare drum which I am way too excited to get my hands on. My current snare assortment is a limited edtion 14x6.5 DW Neil Peart Time Machinest (only 40 ever made!) which I played for a while until I tracked down a 1970 14x5 Ludwig Acrolite that I absolutely LOVE! As for cymbals - they are a combination of Zildjian and Istanbul hi hats. I am currently on a kick to seek out new sounds. My current cymbals are over 10 years old from when I was a teenager and didn't know any better.
Hardware - I use nothing but DW 9000 series cymbal stands and pedals. They are super stout and I don't have worry anything moving. Also, the memory locks are clutch for setting up quickly with having to do all sorts of little adjustments to get them just right.

HITS: Take us behind the scenes- how often do you rehearse and what does a typical Colorworks band practise look like?

Colorworks: We typically practice three times a week with a good amount of this and that between. We actually play DI-ed through headphones, completely out of necessity due to a sweet, but crotchety old neighbor, and we swear by it. Not only are we not killing our ears, we can hear the big picture so much better and give special focus to the harmonies - which have always been a work in progress. Andrew plays a Ludwig Questlove kit in practice that has mesh heads and Zildjian L80 (low volume) cymbals that is something like 20% of the volume of a standard kit. It allows him to play as he normally would, without disturbing the fragile peace we live in.

I think we're very methodical with how we practice. Every new song is charted by David in concert tuning for reference, which is always an interesting exercise in transposition because we both play our guitars tuned a whole step down and often use capos. We use a metronome in practice when we're refining a song, and will often do something like play the song at half speed and bring it up by 5 BPMs each successive repetition - a technique we learned from Steve Smith of the Seattle Drum School. We also loop particularly tricky transitions to a click until they're tattooed onto our collective soul.

We make home demos of every new song, using midi drums and keys and scratch guitars. It helps to understand the picture and is useful canvas for working the devil in the details. David and I will sometimes get together in the evening with a bottle or two of wine and try out all kinds of guitar voicings until our guitars are really talking to each other; and then record the results. His jazz background gives him this encyclopedic mind of inversions and it's amusing to try out all the possible combinations; sometimes to cacklight delight when he finds a particularly nasty sounding chord :p

HITS: Social Media is a very big part of the music industry nowadays. How important is it for you as a band?

Colorworks: Incredibly important. It's our collective public face and we enjoy giving it a personal flavor. We love to see the behind the scenes of our favorite artists, the personal moments or the gear in the studio - and we like to offer that to fans of the band. Nick is the graphic and social media expert. He and Andrew often plan out when to announce things like shows or new videos, what pictures to put up and everything you see us doing. Again, all of this is fairly methodical as well, I guess we take it pretty seriously haha. Nick actually drew by hand the cover of our latest EP "Dreams of Mangoes" and designed the graphic layout of the album. I think that kind of personal investment in the presentation of the band gives us a unique avenue to express ourselves exactly as we'd like.

HITS: Do you ever document gigs, recording sessions, etc in order to remember everything band related?
If so, any funny stories you can share with us?

Colorworks: We do take videos of our gigs and like to capture the spontaneity of the studio. When we recorded "Pears and Mangoes" last year, we were at Robert Lang Studios for the day. Andrew helps out at the studio from time to time and his task for the morning was to clean an AC unin in the control room with four cans of this spray clearner. Right there on the can it said "Only use in well-ventilated area" and "know to cause cancer". This closet where the AC unit was kept was anything but well-ventilated. After he sprayed all four cans, we turned on as many fans as we could, waited for a half hour and tried to record a take. The spray had this fake lemon scent and within five minutes everyone in the studio started to get light headed and loopy on this musky lemon scent and had to step outside for air. We ended up sitting around for four hours while the studio aired out. I can't remember if we ended up using the takes we got that day, but that officially became the "Lemon Session" for "Pears and Mangoes". I still can smell the lemons when I listen to that song now haha.

HITS: house in the sand all about sharing great music with the world. Who are you listening to at the moment?

Colorworks: Oh man, we're all eagerly awaiting the new Temples record. Temples, Tame Impala and Father John Misty are our top three contemporary artists. I guess you can throw Radiohead in there too, their new record is beautiful, though I still think of them as a "90's" band.
Tangerine is probably our favourite local band. And we're big fans of Biddadat and our good friends dreamcatchr.
And just like our gear, we love our old records. I've been listening to a lot of the Left Banke, Love and Blur recently and I know Nick has been listening to a lot of Donovan and Diane Coffee.
We're incredibly taken with David Bowie's "Blackstar", it's so dark! May he rest in peace.
I know David has been listening to a lot of BLackstar and the Kinks recently, especially the mid-late 60's period with Autumn Almanac and the records "Something Else", "Face to Face" and the early 70's period with Apeman and Lola. I came home the other day and Andrew was blasting Abbey Road, we're all big fans of Ringo and Hugh Grundy's drumming. I think the artists we consistently listen to the most are the Zombies, the Kinks, the Beatles, XTC, Burt Bacharach, the Beach Boys and David Bowie, with big helping of Judee Sill, Motown, John Coltrane, Aimee Mann, Brazialian Bossa Nova and Bob Dylan. Too many to list really, but this is a pretty good snapshot of the moment.

HITS: Thank you guys for this lovely interview!

Colorworks: Thank you for the interest in what we're doing, and thank you for being a great blog and source for new music :)
We are very antsy to make it over to Germany and the UK to play!

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

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Text & Questions: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image & Answers: Colorworks

Song Of The Day: "Free" by Dylan Cassin

Hey guys!

My favourite thing about running my own website, is being able to upload something whenever I feel like it.
Nobody tells me what to do or who to feature- it's my decision and that freedom is probably the coolest thing to have if you work in a creative industry.

Being able to work with well known artists such as Jack Garratt, Kodaline or The Vaccines, is also pretty damn great. It means I get to build an even bigger audience and it means that I get to work with musicians whose music I enjoy.

Yet, the thing I enjoy doing the most, is featuring my friends, knowing that they'll end up with a few more listeners.

I'm pretty happy that I'm in this group of people who are all so annoyingly talented. It's just fabulous to watch everyone doing all these fantastic things.

Today I want to share a little live recording by one of my annoyingly talented friends!

Dylan Cassin is singer/songwriter from Liverpool, UK.
His sound is walking on the fine line between Acoustic and Pop-Rock before settling down for Alternative.

Dylan played lead guitar and sang backing vocals in house in the sand's favourite band - The Arkanes. Unfortunately the band broke up last year.

However, Dylan hasn't stopped making music.
In fact he sang a song for our fourth birthday earlier this year, he's been gigging in the Liverpool area and is currently working on new material.

Just yesterday he released a live recording of his newest song "Free".

The song greets you with the sounds of a warm and delicate acoustic guitar. The soft finger picking in the verses and the light strumming in the chorus compliment Dylan's voice.
His vocals lead you through the song and grace you, the listener, with intensity and honesty. 

A melancholic harmonica ties all elements together and gives the song even more grip.
The lyrics are storytelling and relatable and showcase Dylan's songwriting skills.

"Free" is a beautiful song which you all need to have on your playlist!

But have a listen yourself!

Dylan Cassin online: Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Text: Vanessa Jertschewske | Photography: John Latham

Editor's Choice: Cover Versions

Hey guys!

How do you feel about covers?
I know that a lot of people don't like cover versions of some songs. And I guess I have a few songs that I would never want to be heard covered, mainly because I adore the originals so much.

But there are a lot of incredibly amazing covers out there and I catch myself listening to them quite a lot.
Therefore I thought it would be nice to collect my favourite covers and share them with you.

The covers below are performed by artists I love as well, some of them are friends of this website.
It's a mixture of mainstream acts and independent acts.
It doesn't matter whether an artist / a band is signed to a label or not, if we love the music they make, they'll be featured on HITS.

So, without further ado, here's my selection of covers I love.

Kodaline // "Billie Jean" by Michael Jackson
Kodaline definitely are one of my favourite live bands. I've had the pleasure to film with them twice (#1 & #2) and had the best time. I've also seen them live in Stuttgart and enjoyed every minute of it.
Their cover of Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" is superb. I really love how they've kept the main style of the song but put their on twist to it.
When I think of Kodaline, I think of harmonies and boy, they have them.

Noah Guthrie // "Valerie" in the style of Amy Winehouse
I first stumbled upon Noah's YouTube channel many years ago. Out of all his covers, his version of Amy Winehouse's "Valerie" is my favourite.
The warmth and soul in his voice pays the beautiful tribute to Amy which she deserves.
I had the greatest time dancing to this when he played it live on his recent tour.

Martin and James // "All I Have To Do Is Dream" by The Everly Brothers
This sort of feels like a throwback to five years ago when I first saw these two life. Fast forward to today, I've heard them play this track live more often than I can remember.
And that's not a complaint!
If you've been reading this blog for a while, you'll know that Martin and James are one of my favourite bands for all the obvious reasons. I mean, listen to this.

Rachel Sermanni // "I Want You Back" by Jackson 5
Another Jackson cover you say? Okay, here we go.
This version of "I Want You Back" by the Jackson 5 is hands down the most beautiful version I've ever heard of the song. Rachel Sermanni is an absolutely talented artist from Scotland.
I totally recommend her original music but since we're talking about covers, let's highlight this one. Her vocals are so stunningly beautiful and so is the way she plays the guitar.

Jack Garratt // "Seven Days" & "Senorita" by Craig David & Justin Timberlake
If you follow house in the sand on Twitter, you'll know that I'm obsessed with Jack Garratt's music. I lose my mind whenever I watch his live videos (or see him live). I'm just super impressed by his skills and am happy that we've got artists like him around.
This mash-up of "Seven Days" by Craig David and "Senorita" by Justin Timberlake definitely proves my point.
Watch and enjoy!

Jamie Lawson // "Fast Car" by Tracy Chapman
This song is a classic and Jamie's rendition of it definitely does it justice.
The warmth in Jamie's voice is one of many reasons why we're big fans of Jamie!
I think the way he arranged is so minimalistic, yet so expressive. Thumbs up!

Ed Sheeran // "Dirrty" by Christina Aguilera
I feel very risky saying this, but this cover is possibly my favourite cover ever.
 Whilst there are so many beautiful and deep covers out there, this one is the exact opposite.
Ed Sheeran covering Christina Aguilera - need I say more?
What I adore about this cover is the fact that everyone in this performance is having a great time. Ed is one of those artists who can make any tracks sound like it's their own and I love it. Swag is a word I don't use often, but maaaan, he's got swag.
(And I also love the rap bit. How could I not?)

Martin Luke Brown // "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free" by Nina Simone
This dude has soul. And he knows how to present it.
I'm definitely a big fan of his music but I also adore this effortless looking cover of Nina Simone's classic. It's a beautiful song to begin with, but it takes a skilled and confident musician to pull it off that well.

And that's my selection!
There are hundreds (probably even thousands) of fantastic covers out there, so this might even turn into a little series, in case you enjoy it.

Now it's time for you to share your favourite cover with us!
Leave a comment or tweet us the tunes you love! :)

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Text & Image: Vanessa Jertschewske | videos via YouTube

Song Of The Day: "Fly Away" by Jack Woodward

Hey guys!

Music submissions are funny things.
Sometimes they stress me out soo much, simply because it's rather impossible to feature ALL of the artists who submit their tracks on HITS.
Yet, I absolutely love them.

Whenever somebody sends me their music, I think of it as an honour. These people choose to work with HITS and I think that's pretty great.
It's especially lovely when friends recommend house in the sand to their friends.
(Big shout out to Liam in this case!)

Today I'm happy to share a 'Song of the Day' with you!
It's "Fly Away" by Jack Woodward.

Jack Woodward is a singer/songwriter from the North-West of England.
His music is mainly Acoustic but ties in neat Pop and Rock elements.

Influenced by The Killers, Bruce Springsteen, John Mayer and many more, it's no surprise that Jack crafts his songs with a lot of honesty and thought.

The musician's previous singles "Honey" and "Someone Else's Life" have gotten him multiple plays on BBC Introducing Lancashire Radio, as well as on various other stations.

Jack has played many gigs and also supported artists such as Rae Morris, Karima Francis and our good friend Liam McClair.

His new single "Fly Away" is also the title track of Jack's upcoming debut EP, which will be released in November.

"Fly Away" greets you with delicate and softly picked acoustic guitar intro. Jack's voice soon accompanies the instrumental and becomes the leading element of the song.

With a lot of charme and warmth in his voice, Jack creates a very intimate and honest atmosphere.
The calmingly beautiful guitar parts are joined by steady percussions and soothing backing vocals.

Just before bursting into a multi-layered chorus, the song strips down to just single guitar strums and vocals.

To sum it up in a few words? This song is great. It's touching, it's well arranged and it's what we need to hear every now and then.

Jack Woodward online: Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Text: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image: Jack Woodward (via Facebook)

Video Premiere: "Rise Up" by Bella Loka

Hey guys!

So, it's Autumn!
I'm sure I'm not the only person who loves the warm, yet breezy vibe this time of the year has offer.
I think the atmosphere of this season is never the same, it's always unique - every single year.
And to me, that's magical.

Maybe you'll agree with me, that a lot of times music can perfectly create certain atmospheres - just like the seasons can.

Today I'm delighted to premiere the music video for Bella Loka's recent single "Rise Up".
In my opinion it creates a super magical and mysterious vibe.

Please learn more about the band, the song and the production of the video below!

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

Their recent single "Rise Up", which is the opening track of Bella Loka's upcoming debut album, was produced at the famous Abbey Road Studios in London.

Tea Boothby describes the song as “a love story between the day and the night, the light and the dark. Having become separated 'in the beginning' the light and the dark are irresistibly drawn back together, with seemingly opposing chess pieces depicting how love can appear as a battle, until it's won."

The video for "Rise Up" was filmed and produced by the singer herself.
As part of the production of the video, Tea stood motionless against the iconic London skyline on Primrose Hill for 5 hours from dawn as the sun came up to film time-lapse footage of the rolling clouds and shifting shadows. 

Make sure to be one of the very first people to watch the music video for "Rise Up" now!

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

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Text: Vanessa Jertschewske | Photography: Michael Robert Williams | Video & Quotes: Bella Loka

Video Interview: Noah Guthrie

Hey guys!

There are a few things I won't ever shut up about.
One of them are cats. I mean... I don't have to explain that, do I?

Other than interviews, I also love talking about interviews.
Not job interviews, phew, who enjoys those?

But those interviews where I get to be nosey and ask questions that not only I want to be answered, but also the viewers can enjoy.
And on top of that, it's a nice platform for talented musicians who deserve an even bigger audience.

Whenever I get to film an interview, I try to create a casual and relaxed enviroment for everyone to feel comfortable.
For house in the sand it just feels more suitable to have an enjoyable interview rather than those where everyone feels a little intimidated.

Today I've got another lovely and relaxed interview for you, so let me invite you to check it out.
The artist who is in the spotlight today is Noah Guthrie.

Noah Guthrie is a singer/songwriter based in Greer, South Carolina, USA.
His music combines the key elements of Americana, Soul and Acoustic.

Noah grew up in household filled with music, so he naturally discovered his love for it at an early age.
He has been covering songs on YouTube for almost 6 years now.
His most famous cover of LMFAO's "Sexy and I Know It" has reached almost 25 million views. This soulful rendition of the pop track obviously got a lot of well deserved attention.

Noah's talent also caught the attention of US hit series Glee's staff who asked him to audition for the role of Roderick Meeks, which he successfully did.

But Noah Guthrie is capable of way more than just covering songs. And his debut album "Among The Wildest Things" proved just that.

Over the years he opened concerts for Ed Sheeran, Neon Trees, Selena Gomez and many more.

During his second Germany tour this year, Noah stopped by in Stuttgart to play a gig at Stuttgart's most rock'n'roll venue, Kellerklub.

Just before he went on stage, we sat down in the world's most glamorous backstage area and had a little chat about the crowds at gigs, Glee, social media, his next album and more!

If you want to hear more from Noah, make sure to check out this performance of his song "Death Of Me".

Noah Guthrie online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram

Many thanks to Noah for this lovely chat!
And, of course, thank you to David for the special appearance and arranging the interview.

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Text, Image & Video: Vanessa Jertschewske

Album Review: "Wild World" by Bastille

Hey guys!

Every now and then some friends ask me, if I prefer working with new and unknown acts or famous acts.
And all I can say is, I don't have a preference.

I enjoy working with people who are passionate about their art and that's something that both kinds of artists can be. Doing what I do makes me feel very lucky because I get to meet and work with all these different kinds of people.

And the same counts for what I listen to: just because a band is signed to a major label, doesn't mean I'll love their music.
But it also doesn't mean that I'll hate it.

In my opinion, you have to be open to everything and just love music. 
That's the best way to discover new tunes!

So, let's be open to new music and find out what we think about Bastille's newest album!

Band: Bastille
Title: Wild World
Genre: Alternative
Label: Virgin Records
Release date: 9th September 2016
HITS rating: 7.5/10

Bastille are a four piece band from London, UK.
They play a mixture of Alternative and Indie-Rock with Electronic elements.

Bastille, named after Bastille Day which France celebrates on July 14th, started as singer Dan's solo project back in 2010. It soon turned into the band outfit which consists of:
Dan Smith
Kyle Simmons
Will Farquason
Chris Wood

After releasing their debut single and EP themselves, the band got signed by EMI.
The attention they got from their releases, soon led to support slot, as well as slots at festivals such as England's Glastonbury.

To say they're doing well as a band, would be an understatement.

With their second album, "Wild World", Bastille are ready to do even more.

Here's our review!

1) Good Grief
2) The Currents
3) An Act Of Kindness
4) Warmth
5) Glory
6) Power
7) Two Evils
8) Send Them Off!
9) Lethargy
10) Four Walls (The Ballad Of Perry Smith)
11) Blame
12) Fake It
13) Snakes
14) Winter Of Our Youth

Opener "Good Grief" is also the first single the band released off of the album.
It's one of those songs you just know is performed by Bastille. The signature elements are so very present; singer Dan Smith's unique vocals, harmonies, electronic drum pads, groovy basslines and catchy melodies.
An element you'll notice a couple of times throughout the album are dialogue samples from movies.

A track which stands out is "Lethargy".
 It marches straight forward without being too bold. It's a song that offers you twists and turns, yet it flows naturally. It's an up tempo track with a great and determined energy. The instrumentation on this song is so well arranged, you can tell that the band has worked very carefully to make all elements work together.

"Fake It" has a rather dark and mysterious feeling to it.
The synths and the drum pad give it a very electronic vibe which also keep the energy and dynamic of the album alive. It seems to represent Bastille's calmer and more serious side.

To sum it up: With singer Dan's voice being stronger and more flexible than ever, a big part of the record is carried by the fantastic lead and backing vocals the singer and the band have to offer.
But let's not forget about the clever arrangements, the storytelling and relatable lyrics, as well as the fantastic production of the record. 

You should listen to these tracks: Good Grief, Lethargy, Fake It, Snakes

Fancy catching Bastille live?
Check out the tour dates here.

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

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Text: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image: Bastille (official album artwork)

Gig Photos: Noah Guthrie at Kellerklub, Stuttgart

Hey guys!

One thing I've always loved about the music community I'm in, is that there's this honest appreciation and support for one another's work.
Everyone is grown up and aware of the fact that there are so many talented people out there.

Which is why I've decided that I only want to support people like that.
What's the point in back-stabbing others?
What's the point in thinking you're the only one good at your craft?

I certainly don't have time for that and I want to cheer for everyone who doesn't either.

Noah Guthrie is one of those artists who support others, who seem to be in awe with the work that other artists put out there.
And I seriously can't clap loud enough to show how great I think that is!

On Monday, September 19th, I went to his show in Stuttgart. We filmed an interview beforehand which you'll be able to watch super soon. Subscribe to us on YouTube so you won't miss it.

Noah Guthrie is a singer/songwriter based in Greer, South Carolina, USA.
His music combines the key elements of Americana, Soul and Acoustic.

Noah grew up in household filled with music, so he naturally discovered his love for it at an early age.
He has been covering songs on YouTube for almost 6 years now.
His most famous cover of LMFAO's "Sexy and I Know It" has reached almost 25 million views. This soulful rendition of the pop track obviously got a lot of well deserved attention.

Noah's talent also caught the attention of US hit series Glee's staff who asked him to audition for the role of Roderick Meeks, which he successfully did.

But Noah Guthrie is capable of way more than just covering songs. And his debut album "Among The Wildest Things" proved just that.

Over the years he opened concerts for Ed Sheeran, Neon Trees, Selena Gomez and many more.

During his second Germany tour this year, Noah stopped by in Stuttgart to play a gig at Stuttgart's most rock'n'roll venue, Kellerklub.

Below are impressions from the gig.

Noah was accompanied by his brother Ian on the drums. The two of them played new songs which will be on Noah's next album, as well as tracks from a his debut album.

Joking how he only seems to write sad songs and love songs, he sure knew how to keep the audience all happy.
Overall he was very happy to tell the stories behind the songs which the fans really enjoyed.

It was very obvious that the music Noah plays, is exactly the music he wants to play. The honesty in the songs and the passion in the way he delivered them just proved that this guy loves his job.

Between his original songs, Noah also decided to play a few covers.
George Michael's "Father Figure", which Noah performed on Glee was one of many great covers.
With his version of Amy Winehouse's "Valerie" he got the crowd to dance and sing along. (Myself included!)

Of course his very own version of "Sexy and I Know It" was another highlight and the audience made it very obvious they enjoyed it.

I had a fantastic evening watching the gig.
I love those evenings where it's just one or two people on stage playing heartfelt music.

Also really enjoyed the very lovely audience who was very kind to me as a photographer.

Watch the music video for Noah's latest single "Pardon Me" below!

Noah Guthrie online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram

Massive thank you to David for arranging the evening and to Noah and Ian for the lovely chats.

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Text & Photography: Vanessa Jertschewske