For more detail, check Milestones or go to:
Over the past decade, Empathy Test has evolved from complete obscurity to become one of the best known and loved bands in the German and American alternative electronic music scenes, with listeners all around the world.
Empathy Test’s unique and individual brand of cinematic, analogue synthesizer-enthused pop has been hailed by the UK’s Clash Magazine as “gorgeous” and “sumptuous”, by USA’s KCRW as “a big dramatic sound that swoons ecstatically between the nostalgic and immediate”, and by Culture Club’s Boy George as simply “a musical orgasm”.
As well as Boy George, Empathy Test also count Rusty Egan (Rich Kids, Visage etc.), Midge Ure (Thin Lizzy, Ultravox etc.), Republica’s Saffron Sprackling and Spanish actress Ester Exposito (Elite) among their fans.
Empathy Test are best known for their stunning debut single, Losing Touch, taken from the 2014 EP of the same name, which has had a combined total of nearly 6 million streams on Spotify. Losing Touch first gained international recognition when it appeared in visual artist and animator Richard Swarbrick’s viral video celebrating Liverpool Football Club’s 2013/14 season. The animated video picked up over 270K views and was shown on the team’s official TV channel.
Swarbrick went on to use a second Empathy Test track, Kirrilee, as the soundtrack for another viral video The Cats of YouTube, and a third, Last Night on Earth, for a series of videos commissioned by the NBA Finals in the USA.
In early 2015, a fourth Empathy Test track, Here is the Place, from the band’s second 2014 EP Throwing Stones, appeared in an episode of MTV’s Catfish, a show about people creating fake identities online. This brought the band further recognition in North America and around the world, as the show has been rebroadcast in multiple countries almost constantly since then.
In 2017, using the now defunct PledgeMusic platform, Empathy Test successfully crowdfunded the self-release of not one, but two debut albums, Losing Touch (Remastered) and Safe From Harm. The crowdfunder was 100% funded in just 10 hours and finished up 661% funded, allowing the band to press the two albums on limited Digipak CD and 12” vinyl. The two albums were given a “legendary” 10/10 by Brutal Resonance, 10/10 and 9/10 respectively by Elektroskull.
In 2020, once again harnessing the power of their rapidly growing and loyal fanbase, Empathy Test crowdfunded their third album, Monsters, via IndieGoGo. This time, the project was fully funded in just 20 minutes and eventually finished 667% funded. The album was warmly received by fans and critics alike. Brutal Resonance gave Monsters 9/10, as did Release Magazine. ReGen Magazine focused on its "production value, lyrics, and overall musicianship,while Swedish website Hymn praised the "timelessly melancholy melodies".
Despite not having a record label (the band has turned down offers from many of the big labels in the scene, in favour of doing things their own way), Empathy Test are an attractive proposition for CD and vinyl collectors alike, because of their short runs of consistently high quality Digipak CDs and limited edition coloured vinyl LPs and picture discs, which invariably sell out. You will see their limited 7" singles with asking prices of up to $100 on Discogs.
Until today, Empathy Test has sold over 4,000 12” vinyl and over 6,000 CD albums, with no formal distribution. On Spotify, Monsters has had upwards of 2.5m streams, Losing Touch (Remastered) 4.2m, and Safe From Harm, 1.6m.
Aside from consistently releasing high quality music, Empathy Test has toured as support for the likes of VNV Nation, Covenant, Mesh and Aesthetic Perfection, working their way up through the line-ups of German alternative music festivals like Wave Gotik Treffen, Mera Luna, Amphi, Plage Noire and NCN, before headlining their own tours of Germany, France, and the UK. The band is planning an extensive headline tour of North American Tour with 30+ dates, in October 2023.