Welcome Center / Ally & The Walrus [small room]
|Dallas, TX & Philly, PA|
Welcome Center is the Dallas/Philadelphia electronic-pop duo of Jesse Smith and Aaron Sternick, two old friends who met outside a dorm room in Dallas, TX in 2005. Bonding over a shared taste in Turkish Golds and early-aughts indie rock, over the next 15 years the two found themselves in and out bands together, playing everything from baroque-pop to Ed Banger-influenced house and densely-lyrical folk-rock.
Eventually, Jesse and Aaron found themselves in their early 30s, separated by 1,500 miles and seven state lines, having watched most of their peers cast music aside and move on with their lives. Yearning for the same wide-eyed creative pull from their youth that sparked their relationship over a decade prior and drawing on all of those years of influences, the two began a new collaboration, sending demos back and forth via cloud storage. Touring heavily in 2018 gave Jesse and Aaron the opportunity to slowly refine and perfect every detail of ‘Is This All There Is?’, eventually bringing the song to Kyle Pulley (Hop Along, Dr. Dog) for his final mixing touches. Smith and Sternick’s kinship is on full display on ‘Is This All There Is?’, the new music video and eponymous single from their latest EP. One of the very first songs the band wrote together, the single embodies what makes their camaraderie click: the buoyant rhythms of early New Order, the throbbing house-influenced bass, and the existential dread of early DFA records, meditating on the inevitable banality of materialism and the American dream.
The duo will release a five-track EP, ‘This House Will Be Filled With _____” in late spring 2020 with plenty of tour dates to follow.
~ALLY & THE WALRUS~
Through most of Ally’s life, she has felt alone although she has never been alone. It was easy to feel alone when bullying, self-doubt, mental health, relationships, life became difficult. However, through these experiences, Ally learned how to fuel that pain into art that could not only heal her wounds but also help others who felt alone and wounded too.
This project of reconnecting the world birthed a community of love and healing that is now called “the Walrus.”
Ally released her first EP Love and Recovery to all streaming platforms in July of 2018 with the help of Keegan Paluso as head engineer/producer on the first four tracks, Liz Butler on keys, Melvin Campbell as engineer on “Like I Did”, Callin Hinze on drums, Kaleb Collins on bass, John Eric Brown on cello, and Basil Alter for the strings composition and violin performance on the final track.
Her time in Memphis has brought many opportunities to expand the Walrus. These opportunities have included the all-female acapella group covering her song “Serene”, Ally being featured to represent the Next Century of Soul as a Memphis Ambassador, and creating an online show to spread her music and message across the globe.
@ Hi Tone
412 N Cleveland St, Memphis, TN 38104
8PM Doors | 9PM Show | $7 | 21+