Photo by Robert Vincent Tweedie

Photo by Robert Vincent Tweedie


no line north


No Line North’s sonic explorations cover a lot of fertile ground — psychedelic folk/pop tunes and garage rockers can morph into motorik train beat jammers that bleed into meditative folk ragas. Paired with impressionist lyrics, the result is a beautiful sonic spread — a fresh take on the kind of cosmic Americana that’s been bubbling up from the the US underground the past few years. 

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 (a bit heavier as well), 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 evolved into a potent collective of players that are continually pushing on boundaries and honing their craft. The band includes Jon Schlesinger (songs, vocals, guitar, banjo, lapsteel), Michael Kiefer (drums, percussion), Brian Slattery (violin, bass), Richard Brown (guitar, sax), John Gage (vibraphone, drums, percussion), and John Leonard (bass, guitar, vocals). 

More recent releases include Dreams of Trees Part I,  and the “Dirty Holiday” split single with Lys Guillorn. Dreams 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).

The band continues woodshedding new material, stretching things out a bit with deeper psych explorations, while still capitalizing on the compositional strengths of main songwriter Jon Schlesinger. Expect new material soon.



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

New Haven Register Meriden Daffodil Festival feature, April 2010 review of CWT s/t debut, February 2010

The New Haven Register picks Closely Watched Trains as their favorite local album of 2009.

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


The Big Takeover, Issue 66

The Big Takeover, Issue 66