Welcome Center is a Dallas/Philadelphia-based electronic-pop band that formed in 2017. Jesse Smith and Aaron Sternick write, record, and produce all the band’s music from Dallas and Philadelphia, respectively – a long-distance collaboration only made possible by fourteen years of friendship and a cloud storage account.
One of the very first songs the band wrote together, 2019’s “Is This All There Is?”, embodies what makes their camaraderie click: the buoyant rhythms of early New Order, the throbbing house-influenced bass, and the existential dread of DFA records, meditating on the banality and meaning of materialism. PopMatters called it an “instant hit.” Central Track placed it among the top 20 songs released by a Texas band in 2019.
On July 17, 2020, Welcome Center will release This House Will Be Filled With _____. The EP digs deeper into what the duo built on “Is This All There Is?” – five tracks of rhythmic grit, glimmers of swirling analog flourishes, and Smith’s trademark moody and introspective lyrics. Recently, the duo shared the single off of the upcoming release “Animals Haunted By Love.”
Here’s Smith on the single: “‘Animals Haunted By Love’ is a song about the inner-trappings of domesticity and building your life around the wrong person disguised as a blissful, summery pop-song. I had been reading a lot of Haruki Murakami at the time and lyrically, I wanted to approach the stark realism of the subject matter from a place of wonderful unreality. The layers of Juno and Moog synthesizers paired with the natural instrumentation change in the second verse (acoustic guitar & slide guitar) mimicked this lyrical approach.”