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Record Store Day A.K.A Record Store Drops was Saturday, July 17 and among the many musical treasures released was a limited edition, clear lathe-cut vinyl by A.K.A Belle featuring the songs “New Highs in Leadership,” and “A.M. Dew”.

The band includes Merrick on vocals, guitar and vibraphone; Sam Merrick on guitar and vocals; John “Bongos” Townsend on drums; Michael P. Waite on stand-up bass; and guest Kelsey Swope-Walker on guitar, percussion and vocals. The band has also recently added Gina Gregerson of the Dirt Fisherman as a permanent member. The song “A.M. Dew” was previously released Feb. 26.

“A.M. Dew puts forth the concept that we are all connected to the Universe, the collective unconscious, and that maybe there are other realities that co-exist in time,” said Merrick. “Maybe that breeze on your cheek was someone who loves you and wants to be remembered? Or perhaps the memory you can’t seem to place was passed down through generations … . It is basically suggesting we are all spirit; and maybe, just maybe, in this gigantic world of wonder, we are merely living in an upside down world within a drop of morning dew.”

The vinyl includes: A micro fiber cloth to clean your vinyl with care instructions, download codes for both songs, and a free sticker that’s available at the Record Exchange. Merrick said it’s especially important to check out the instructions because the tips on care ensure the best playback. Like dropping the needle into the groove by hand and then cranking the volume because lathe cuts have shallower grooves and that restricts volume and frequencies. Both songs are about how humans treat each other and seeing the humanity in each other.

“New Highs in Leadership reminds folks, younger ones, in particular, to look after those who have less,” said Merrick, “to not fear change, and not fear even “being the change” — to kick the metaphorical doors aside. To lift us all, ‘us’ as in all humans, up when they get to the top.”

Lathe-cut records are extra special because each one is hand-cut individually instead of using a master press. Each one has its own special uniqueness; it’s a really cool way to get one-of-a-kind vinyl.

“We wanted to have something that’s really special,” Merrick said. “Even though the song sounds the same, each one will be different for everyone.”

People can also catch the band live, the opening day of Treefort at the main stage.

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