Since self-releasing their debut EP in February 2014, London electro pop duo Empathy Test has achieved an incredible amount in a short space of time. The brooding, ‘80s synth sound of EP title track and lead single Losing Touch immediately garnered the childhood friends attention from a host of independent blogs, websites and internet radio stations around the world and has since chalked up nearly 50,000 YouTube hits.
Signing to independent Brooklyn electronica label Stars & Letters Records just a few month’s later, Empathy Test released a second EP, Throwing Stones, before the year was out. The new EP secured them single premieres with award-winning UK music and fashion magazine Clash, Californian radio station KCRW and US music and gossip website, Idolator.
Idolator also included Empathy Test in their list of “14 Under-The-Radar Synth-Pop Acts We Loved In 2014”, describing their music as “tear-streaked New Wave featuring twinkling synth pads and drum machine hits so wet they’d throw Phil Collins into a jealous rage”. BBC Introducing made Throwing Stones their Track of the Week and The Climate Change Reality Project used an instrumental of second single Here Is The Place in a video shown at The UN!
Here Is The Place also featured in a recent episode of hit MTV show Catfish. The show was watched by over a million viewers in the US when it was first broadcast on 11th March and brought Empathy Test even more attention, as well as a huge spike in YouTube plays which even caught the eye of YouTube itself. YouTube congratulated the band on Twitter, saying “But that spike tho [sic]. Nice work, guys!”.
This summer, as well as playing at Riba Rocks 2015, Empathy Test’s Isaac Howlett (vocals) and Adam Relf (production), will also perform at Wave Gotik Treffen, the largest Goth festival in the world, support Bombay Bicycle Club in London and tour the UK with fellow synth pop act, Vivien Glass. Empathy Test will shortly release an EP of remixes and are also hard at work on their debut album, Demons, which they hope to release sometime this year.
Speaking about Empathy Test’s inclusion in the Riba Rocks 2015 line-up, singer Isaac said, “We’re thrilled to have been included in the line-up for this exciting new festival and can’t wait to finish up what looks to be a very exciting summer for us, performing tracks from our forthcoming album in the mountains of Catalonia!”