Following their muse has made Aka Belle hard to categorize over the years - from bittersweet laments and folksy protest pop songs, to psychedelic heavy guitar driven feedback mixed with sultry, retro tropicalia jazz vibes, they’ve been anything but predictable.
With numerous line-up changes, their sound has evolved with each incarnation, allowing various members to lend of themselves in the overall sound, not to mention the eclectic mix of special guests (international jazz saxophonist Curtis Stigers; rock guitar wizard Brett Netson of Caustic Resin/Built to Spill/Earth; to name a few).
At the core, Aka Belle remains the same (Catherine Merrick, Sam Merrick), but now with new members who push this Boise band towards “Supergroup” status: Gina Gregerson (Dirt Fishermen) joined as backing vocalist and guitarist, and was followed closely by the addition of Troy Wright (Treepeople, Magnetics), on drums, and the ever smiling Anthony Mulparry (Green Zoo), on bass.
“Don’t be afraid of time or change - it’s constant-” Aka Belle sing in their 2021 release, “New Highs in Leadership;” clearly acknowledging and prophesying their own organic transformations as well as pushing their own boundaries.
“Musically, there was plenty to discover. You could experience AKA Belle pouring their psych-folk evocations out the back of Roots, Afrosonics dancing the early evening away at Barbarian Brewing, or you could cap off the evening with Monophonics’ alluring wall-of-presence. There was a little bit of everything at Flipside from folk at Sandbar and Velvet Underground aggressive punk covers in a local winery parking lot. At the outset the culture of Flipside Fest was apparent… This is not Treefort.” - Nanobot Greg