Portraits & Walls

spread joy, spread music

A Look Back On 2012

I didn’t get a chance to listen to as many albums as I wanted to this past year but I was able to listen to a bunch of really great songs. So, instead of compiling a list of my favorite albums I decided to just make a playlist ofsome of my favorite songs from 2012. I’ll to do my best be more present in 2013. I hope everyone had a happy new year and 2013 treats you well!


An Explanation of Absence

Hey guys!

Sorry for the long absence. The majority of my time has been occupied with law school business (i.e. taking the LSAT, applying to law schools, etc), I haven’t been able to post anything recently and for that I apologize. I hope to be back to my regular weekly schedule in the upcoming months (probably around December or January). See you all then!

Heyward Howkins debut release The Hale & Hearty

Today Heyward Howkins releases his debut album The Hale & Hearty! Based in Philadelphia , PA, the name Heyward comes from the singer’s five-times grandfather Thomas Heyward. Gaining recognition a decade ago while playing lead guitar with the two time Rollingstone.com’s Editor’s Top Picks of the Year group The Trouble with Sweeney, Heyward was also a founding member of the acclaimed choral group, The Silver Ages. The Hale & Hearty is Heyward Howkins debut LP release. Enjoy!

Like what ya hear? Be sure to check out Heyward Howkins’ website & support his music!

Twitter: @HeywardHowkins

After much cons…

After much consideration I’ve decided to change things up on Portraits & Walls. Posts are going to try and focus more on introduce people to new music. Enjoy!

Something To Hold You Over

Unfortunately I have fallen a bit behind on my blog and my reviews, while I catch up here is a new acoustic video from our friends in Finland, Eva on the Western Castle Island. Enjoy!



Five For Your Friday

This week’s edition of Five For Your Friday features music from Ha Ha Tonka, Wild Sweet Orange, Alpha Rev, He’s My Brother She’s My Sister and Steel Train. Enjoy!

Ha Ha Tonka

Hailing from Springfield, Missouri Ha Ha Tonka has been together since 2005. Named after a state park in southern Missouri, in 2008 the group opened up for Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin. Known for their edgier sound Ha Ha Tonka has released three studio albums.

“Usual Suspects”

Wild Sweet Orange

Forming back in 2004, Wild Sweet Orange comes out of Homewood, Alabama.  Opening for groups such as Counting Crows, Augustana and Guster, the group released two EPS and a studio EP.  Having their music featured on Grey’s Anatomy in addition to having performed on Late Night with David Letterman, the group  sadly disbanded in 2010.

“Ten Dead Dogs”

Alpha Rev

Hailing from Austin, Texas Alpha Rev started back in ’05 following the breakup of Casey McPherson’s previous Endocrhine. Consisting of McPherson, Alex Dunlap, Brian Batch, Dave Wiley, Derek Morris, Tabber Millard, Zak Loy, the group two EPs and three LPs.

“New Morning”

He’s My Brother She’s My Sister

Based in Los Angeles, California, He’s My Brother She’s My Sister is made up of Rachel and Robert Kolar, Lauren Brown, Satya Bhabha and Felipe Ceballos. Making their first official release,  He’s My Brother She’s My Sister EP, in 2010, the group claims to be influences by The Everly Brothers, Donavon, The Mama’s & Pappa’s and Bob Dylan.

“How’m I Gonna Get Back Home”

Steel Train

Making indie rock jams since 2002, Steel Train calls New Jersey home. Having toured with groups such as Silversun Pickups, O.A.R, Fun. and Ben Folds, the group is made up of Jack Antonoff, Evan Winiker, Dan Silbert, Jon Shiffman, and Justin Huey. Performing on both Late Night with David Letterman and Conan O’Brien, Steel Train has released three EPS and three LPs.


Five For Your Friday

This week’s Five for Your Friday features tracks from Coconut Records, Crash Kings, Kids of 88, Lacrosse and YACHT. Enjoy!

Coconut Records

Beginning in 2006, Coconut Records is the name for a solo project started by Jason Schwartzman. With contributions from Kirsten Dunst, Zooey Deschanel and a handful of others,  Schwartzmann has released two albums under the moniker Coconut Records.

“The Summer”

Crash Kings

Another gem forming back in ’06 is the Los Angeles based rock group Crash Kings. Made up of Antonio Beliveau, Mike Beliveau and Jason Morris, the trio released their self titled debut in 2009. Gaining popularity from their single “Mountain Man” being played on the radio, Crash Kings have an upcoming album set to release in 2012.

“14 Arms”


Coming out of Stockholm, Lacrosse formed back in 2005. Made up of Nina Waha, Kristian Dahl, Henrik Johansson, Rickard Sjoberg, Robert Arlinder and Tobias Henriksson, the group released their first single in 2007. Since releasing their first single Lacrosse has released two LPs.

Kids of 88

Formed back in 2008 Kids of 88 are based out of Auckland City, New Zealand. Made up of Jordan Arts and Sam McCarthy, the two were long time best friends before first entering into their first music pursuit together while attending St. Peter’s College. Stating their influences as  “groove, mood, and slutty arrangements. 16th hi hats and hand claps. Culture and couture, Gangster and glamour” they have released two LPs and and EP.

“Everybody Knows”


Forming back in 2002, YACHT takes their name from an alternative school in Portland where Jona Bechtolt was enrolled. Made up of Bechtolt, Claire Evans, Katy Davidson, Jeffrey Brodsky and Rob Kieswetter YACHT have released 5 studio albums.


Five For Your Friday

This week’s Five For Your Friday brings you tune from Hoots & Hellmouth, Hey Marseilles!, The Barr Brothers, Yukon Blonde and Darwin Deez. Enjoy!

Hoots & Hellmouth

Formed in 2005, Hoots & Hellmouth bring us folk/rock tunes out of Philadelphia, PA. Originally starting out as a duo between Andrew Grey and Sean Hoots, the group now consists of Hoots, Rob Berliner, Todd Erik and Mike Reilly. Earning themselves an Independent Music Award for Best College Record Label Album for their debut release Hoots & Hellmouth (2007), the group has since released three more albums.

“You and All of Us”

Hey Marseilles!

Coming out of Seattle, Washington, Hey Marseilles! have been cranking out indie pop jams for the last six years. Composed of Matt Bishop, Colin Richey, Philip Kobernik, Nick Ward, Samuel Anderson, Jacob Anderson, and Patrick Brannon, Hey Marseilles! was founded by Ward and Bishop while they were attending the University of Washington.

“Hold the Morning”

The Barr Brothers

Coming together in 2006, The Barr Brothers is made up of brothers Brad and Andrew Barr, Sarah Page and Andrew Vial. Based out of Montreal, The Barr Brothers’ have performed on David Letterman and have also had their music in television shows such as Touch. Their debut self-titled album was released in 2011.

“Beggar in the Morning”

Yukon Blonde

Coming out of Kelowna, British Columbia, Yukon Blonde has been making music together since 2005. Originally starting out as a quintet under the name Alphababy, the group adopted the name Yukon Blonde in 2008. Currently composed of Graham Jones, Jefferey Innes, Brandon Scott and John Jeffrey, Yukon Blonde made their latest release this past March.

“Wind Blows”

Darwin Deez

Calling New York City home, Darwin Deez is an indie band that formed back in 2009. Named after the band’s frontman Darwin Smith aka Darwin Deez, the group gained popularity in the UK after their release of the single “Constellations”. The group released their debut self titled album in 2010.

“Radar Detector”

Five For Your Friday

This week’s edition of Five For Your Friday features tracks from Sarah Jaffe, Fang Island, Menomena, All Wrong and The Plans Change and The Fresh & Onlys. Enjoy!

Sarah Jaffe

Coming out of Denton, Texas Sarah Jaffe self-released her first EP back in 2007. Touring with the likes of Lou Barlow, Midlake and Old 97’s in 2010 Jaffe released her debut album, Suburban Nature, followed shortly after by two more albums in 2011 and 2012. “Clementine” is off her 2010 album.


Fang Island

Formed in Providence, Rhode Island and later relocating to Brooklyn, New York Fang Island is made up of Jason Bartell, Chris Georges, Michael Jacober, Nicholas Andrew Sadler and Marc St. Sauveur.  Coming together back in 2005 as an art project between Philip Curcuru, Pete Watts and Georges while the three were enrolled at Rhode Island School of Design, the group gained and lost members before settling down into the current five-member design. Describing their music as “everyone high-fiving everyone”, “Life Coach” is from their 2010 self-titled release.

“Life Coach”


Based out of Portland, Oregon, Menomena formed back in 2000 between Brent Knopf, Justin Harris and Danny Seim. The group eventually gained member Joe Haege and lost Knopf in 2011 when he decided to focus more on his other musical pursuits, specifically Ramona Falls. Since their formation the group has released three EPs and four LPs. “Wet and Rusting” is off their 2006 EP of the same title.

“Wet and Rusting”

All Wrong & The Plans Change

Consisting of best friends Kassia Conway and Amy Wood, All Wrong and the Plans Change is based in Los Angeles, California. Daughter of a music engineer and producer, Wood grew up around music and began playing in clubs at the young age of 14. “I Get Down” is a track from the duo’s debut homemade album I’m Like Whatever

“I Get Down”

The Fresh & Onlys

Forming back in 2008 in San Francisco, California, The Fresh & Onlys  were originally comprised of Tim Cohen and Shayde Sartin. Later down the road the duo gained additional members including Kyle Gibson, Heidi Alexander and Wymond Miles. Classified frequently as ‘garage pop’, the group has released three albums and two EPs. “Waterfall” is off their 2010 release Play It Strange


Five For Your Friday

This week features a collection of quartets and one quintent, featuring tracks from San Cisco, Amatorski, Walk the Moon, The Paper Kites and Headlights.

San Cisco

San Cisco is another indie-pop gem out of Australia. Forming in 2009, the group was previously known as King George, but opted for the change after feedback from friends and fans. Composed of Jordi Davieson, Josh Biondillo, Nick Gardner and Scarlett Stevens, the quartet all attended high school together. Releasing two EPs, “Awkward” is off their latest release of the same name.



Coming out of Ghent, Belgium, Amatorski formed in 2008. With their name translating as ‘amateurs’, the four-man group has proven to be anything but by making it to the finals of Rockrally (a Belgian rock contest)  as well as having their tack Come Home reach the #1 spot on “De Aferkening” on the radio station Studio Brussel

Walk The Moon

Known for face-paint and wildly energetic shows, Walk the Moon is a four-piece indie-rock group out of Cincinnati, Ohio. Made up of Nicholas Petricca, Kevin Ray, Sean Waugaman and Eli Maiman, the quartet has supported acts such as Weezer and Grouplove. Playing at well-known music festivals such as Lollapalooza, SXSW and Summerfest, they released their debut album I want! I want! at the end of 2010.

“Anna Sun”

The Paper Kites

The Paper Kites are yet another group out of Australia. Composed of Sma Bentley, Christina Lacy, Dave Powys, Sam Rasmussen and Josh Bently, the five create mellow indie folk that “Aim to put a smile on your face and some love in your heart”.



Forming back in 2004, Headlights unfortunately broke up in January 2012, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy their amazing music still. Comprised of Erin Fein, Brett Sanderson, Tristan Wraight, Nick Sanborn, the quartet was based out of Champagin, Illinois.

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: