Following last year’s stunning ‘Demons / Seeing Stars’, London duo Empathy Test – that’s Isaac Howlett and Adam Relf – are back with their signature sci-fi inspired sound and huge, cinematic soundscape. Fresh from touring Europe and playing to their biggest audiences yet, including thousands at festivals such as Wave-Gotik-Treffen in Germany, the pair’s latest double A-side is sure to whet fans’ appetites for their forthcoming and hotly-anticipated debut album (if endorsement from MTV’s Catfish and BBC Introducing wasn’t already enough).
Single ‘By My Side’ brings together eighties-inspired electro with cascading synths, intertwined with brooding, emotional lyrics. The track’s almost pleading chorus hints at chart potential, undulating somewhere between CHVRCHES and The xx, and creating three minutes and fifty-four seconds of peaks and valleys of sheer sonic power. Despite crafting such fine-tuned electronica, Empathy Test are not lacking in human touch, conveying a certain poignancy through their songs.
‘Vampire Town’ flows in a similar vein, all pulsating beats and clean-cut drum machines which marry the danceable simplicity of pop with a dark, lingering electro sound. As a perfect follow up to their previous release, the track is at once fresh yet nostalgic as the chorus laments, “I know that we will always be friends”.
Teaming up with Christina Lopez (drums) and Jacob Ferguson Lobo (keyboards) for live gigs, you can catch Empathy Test at Planet Myer Day (Leipzig, 13/1/17), Electronic Winter (Gothenburg, 28/1/17), Synth Pop Goes Berlin (Berlin, 17/2/17), Amphi (Cologne, 22/7/17) and Unter Dem Himmel (Thale, 05/8/17).