no line north
No Line North cultivates a uniquely unified sound that blends laid-back vocals and bright harmonies with guitars, violins, loop pedals, vibraphone and a driving rhythm section. NLN’s explorations of time and space are channeled through orchestral quiet folk/pop, distorted garage rock, train beats, improvisation and hypnotic rhythms. Paired with impressionist lyrics, the resulting sonic fields of love are an eclectic version of Americana that transcend and bend genres in ways that sound familiar yet are strikingly unique and all their own.
Based in New Haven, CT, the band released their home-recorded eponymous debut under the moniker Closely Watched Trains on Twin Lakes Records in October 2009. That first collection turned some heads. The New Haven Register cited it as Connecticut’s best release of the year, and The Big Takeover called it “fresh and inspired.” The critically acclaimed Farther Out Beyond Today followed in 2014 and was their first album under the new NLN moniker. Earnest and slightly more refined (as well as a bit heavier), it was fittingly described in the New Haven Independent as “Warm, unpretentious music to dance to, hang with, or slip into your stereo as you take a long drive in the middle of the night that could lead just about anywhere.”
Since then, No Line North has quietly evolved into a powerful and tightknit unit that is continually pushing on boundaries and honing their craft. The band includes Jon Schlesinger (songs, vocals, guitar, banjo, lapsteel), Michael Kiefer (drums, percussion), John Leonard (bass, guitar, vocals, recording engineer, mixer), Brian Slattery (violin, bass), John Gage (vibraphone, drums, percussion) and Taralyn Bulyk (violin). NLN readily play out in a variety of configurations from stripped down acoustic to full-fledged amped-up overdrive (often times within the same set).
Their latest release, Dreams of Trees Part I, was made available on limited edition CD and digitally on April 28, 2017. Home spun once again, it was recorded and mixed by John Leonard at his basement studio. The first half of a split recording, Part I finds the band exploring improvisation and hypnotic rhythms (the Neu-Americana of “Line Drive”), folk-pop (“Butterflies,” “Sky & Sea”), train beats (“Under the Sun”), and the old weird America (“Sugar Baby” – Dock Boggs interpretation). Part II, to be released in early 2018, will maintain its folk leanings and delve more heavily into garage rock.
Dreams of Trees, Part I reviewed in Terrascope, Dec 2017
Dreams of Trees, Part I reviewed in The Big Takeover, June 2017
Dreams of Trees, Part I reviewed in The New Haven Independent, May 2017
Dreams of Trees, Part I reviewed in Schizomusica, April 2017
Dreams of Trees, Part I gets 7/10 from Americana UK, April 2017
Some early love for Dreams of Trees, Part I from WPKN. "Sky & Sea" selected as one of their Favorite Tracks of the Week – 03/26/17
Farther Out Beyond Today reviewed in the New Haven Independent, January 2015
Glowing words from Beat The Indie Drum, July 2011
More nice words from CTIndie, May 2010
CTIndie.com review of CWT s/t debut, February 2010
IndepenDisc review of CWT self-titled debut, December 2009
New Haven Advocate review of CWT self-titled debut, October 2009
"This Train's a-rolling" feature in The New Haven Register, October 2009
The Hartford Courant review of the CWT self-titled debut, October 2009