I Hear It Now EP cover squareThe Record Exchange (1105 W. Idaho St.) is honored to host the a.k.a. Belle “I Hear It Now” Release Party at 6:30pm Thursday, June 23. “I Hear It Now” will be available for purchase at the party. Free Payette Brewing Co. will be served beginning at 6pm. As always, this Record Exchange in-store event is free and all ages.

In March, a.k.a. Belle released the “I Hear It Now” track “Mustangs” as a benefit single for Wild Love Preserve, a 501(C)3 nonprofit whose mission is to rescue, protect and preserve Idaho’s wild horses. “I Hear It Now” features a guest appearance from Snakes/Caustic Resin/Built to Spill/Earth guitarist and wizard Brett Netson.


Belle Treefort main pica.k.a. Belle ride fiercely in a no man’s land where intimate vocals sneak into bed with wild guitar serenades and wrestle with beats from a bygone era.

The seedlings of a.k.a. Belle began in a land far, far away called Los Angeles, where Sam and Catherine Crooks Merrick, Boise, Idaho, natives, found themselves sharing a flat in pursuit of musical greatness. They didn’t know it then, but their paths would cross many times over subsequent decades and eventually their lives would converge in a very personal and musically magical way. In 2008, after Catherine returned home to Boise from living and performing under the moniker of Belle of Les Bois in Manchester, England, she reunited with her former roomie (and soon to be husband). a.k.a. Belle was born.

Catherine grew up in Boise amongst some major musical talents. She played alongside Doug Martsch (Built to Spill) in Suiciety and in the B-sides with Curtis Stigers. Merrick’s overflowing with instrumental chops and is most often seen wailing on guitar or banjo, but it’s her voice that audiences find most captivating:

“… When you are blessed with a vocalist like Catherine Merrick, you’re light years ahead of the game. The singer and multi-instrumentalist for a.k.a. Belle has an alluring, lovely voice – the kind that stands out in any genre.” – Michael Deeds, The Idaho Statesman

Between L.A. and 2008, Sam was met with major musical success. He toured the US and Europe with The Leaving Trains (SST Records) and signed a multimillion dollar contract in blood with L.A. band The Nymphs (Geffen Records). He’s also played badass guitar and lent vocals to a variety of musical projects based in the US.

a.k.a. Belle’s eclectic sound is elevated by the creative musical minds of Johnny “Bongos” Townsend (percussion) and Shlomo Kostenko (standup bass), who hear and interpret Merrick’s songs intuitively.

The band have released two albums – Disappearing Night (2012) was in the Top Ten Best Selling Local Albums at independent record store The Record Exchange, coming in a sweet #6; and The Devil Loves You, released in February 2014, entered the Top Ten Best Sellers at #3 and remained in the top twenty several weeks after its release. Tracks from The Devil Loves You are particular favorites of local radio stations KRBX and KBSU (“Mess You Up,” “HG Wells is Alive and Well” and “Collecting Songbirds” being the most played).

The band are highly championed by DJ Tim Johnstone of 94.9FM The River, as well as being favorites of Carl Scheider, DJ at (NPR affiliated) KBSU. Living Room Radio, a Friday afternoon show on 89.9FM Radio Boise, listed Disappearing Night as one of their top albums of 2014.

a.k.a. Belle is a rock band that’s not afraid to play with different genres to get the desired effect in creating well-crafted, thoughtfully constructed songs. Collectively, these four musicians, playfully coined “The Magic Four,” have collaborated with and supported some big names in music, including: John Doe and Exene Cervenka from L.A. band X, Iggy Pop, Elizabeth Cook, Holly Golightly, Lydia Loveless, Curtis Stigers, Bill Kirchen, Doug Martsch from Built to Spill and many more.

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