In January 2017, Empathy Test performed at Planet Myer Day in Leipzig, Germany, and in Denmark (a support slot for Mesh) and Sweden (Electronic Winter Festival) for the first time. In February 2017, Empathy Test released a second single, By My Side. The b-side, Vampire Town, proved more popular than the A-side, and premiered on The Line of Best Fit, who said it “wouldn’t sound out of place snaking into the soundtrack of Netflix series Stranger Things”.
A third single, Bare My Soul, premiered on Clash and was released in April 2017, to coincide with a second European tour, which included four dates opening for Aesthetic Perfection and a further nine as main support for Mesh. Weeks before the tour, keyboard player Jacob Ferguson-Lobo left to concentrate on his own music (he now plays full time with GeeJay) and was quickly replaced with Samuel Winter-Quick.
Buoyed by the success of the singles and two European tours, where they performed to audiences of 400-1,000 people a night, Empathy Test began planning the self-release of their debut album. One album quickly became two albums, when the band were unable to decide which songs to put on the album and which to leave off.
Meanwhile, the band clocked up performances at Liverpool Sound City (UK), Amphi Festival (Germany), VNV Nation’s Unter dem Himmel (Germany), Infest Festival (UK), NCN Festival (Germany) and The Electric Dreams Weekender (UK) where they performed alongside ‘80s Synth Pop legends such as The Human League and Blancmange.
The Losing Touch (Remastered) and Safe From Harm albums were self-released via crowdfunding website PledgeMusic on 17th November 2017. The PledgeMusic project was a huge success, ending 661% funded, and the two albums were released in November 2017 via digital, CD and 12” vinyl formats. To date, the band has sold 1,500+ copies of each album on CD and around 1,400 copies of each 12” vinyl.
Brutal Resonance gave both albums a 10/10 review, while Elektroskull gave Safe from Harm 9/10 and Losing Touch (Remastered) 10/10. Empathy Test performed both albums in their entirety at their sold out album launch party at Zigfrid von Underbelly in London, with Synthwave artist Nina supporting, before the band took off on their first headline tour of Germany in December. Two of the six shows, Hannover and Berlin, also sold out.