Check Out The Ishi-Adjacent Latest Single From What Welcome Center Considers To Be The Defining Moment Of The Duo’s Sound.

Welcome to Song of the Day, where we hip you to all the new local releases you should be caring about. By highlighting one new North Texas-sprung tune every week day, our hope is that you’ll find something new to love about the rich and abundant DFW music scene five days a week.

Welcome Center — “Is This All There Is?”
RIYL: Ishi, LCD Soundsystem.
What else you should know: Welcome Center was technically conceived back in 2005 when Jesse Smith and Aaron Sternick met outside a dorm room in Dallas. Fourteen years later, the duo has released a single distinguishing a new direction, with a six-song EP planned for later this year.

Though the band was initially envisioned to be a lo-fi synth-pop project, “Is This All There Is?” is a considerably high-quality production. Clocking in at well over five minutes, the track, produced by Smith, is layered with exuberant analog synths and assisted by electro-pop guitar licks — the delicious, albeit brief solo around the 1:15 mark is the highlight of the song.

Smith acknowledges the track’s levels of production as marking a new era for Welcome Center, too.

“In a lot of ways, this song was a defining moment for the sound of Welcome Center,” Smith says. “We started telling people that we were writing music for the party in the afterlife after we wrote this song.”

The video, directed by Judd Myers and starring DFW-based dancer Ali Honcell, comes as a visual exclamation point for the inspiration behind the song. Honcell is seen dancing through different rooms of a dilapidated house with energy matching the song’s phases of build-up, but even through changes of light, clothing and atmosphere, she never loses a look of contemplation.

“In my early 30s, this thought kept going through my head whenever I was in the midst of experiencing anything,” Smith says. “Even if it was a new experience: ‘Is this all there is?’ Travel, time, love, religion, pain, materialism, etc… I couldn’t get the phrase out of my head.”

If Welcome Center’s forthcoming EP follows this trajectory, I would be willing to bet you can expect another SOTD from the duo.

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