Empathy Test’s Isaac Howlett releases his solo debut

Listen to new single “House of Cards.”

It’s been nearly five years since we last heard new music from Empathy Test, one of the best synthpop bands in the world. To whet your appetite for more, the unmistakeable voice of Empathy Test, Isaac Howlett, has just released his solo debut, a new track called “House of Cards.”

On “House of Cards,” Isaac’s voice glides over a pouncing, energetic beats. Echoey synths blast in and out of the track, which lend the song some synthwave touches. The track is produced by Walter Kazmier, who also has some recent credits working with dark pop artist Danny Blu.

Here’s what the press notes say about “House of Cards”:

While not a million miles from the dark, emotional, and cinematic tones we’ve grown to expect from Empathy Test over the years, “House of Cards” finds Isaac’s poignant and arresting vocals bolstered by the energy of a punchy uptempo beat and angular synth-bass groove.

With lyrics confronting the brutal reality but eventual relief of escaping a toxic relationship, the first taste of Isaac Howlett’s solo material will have you dancing with tears in your eyes.

Isaac is best known as the singer/songwriter behind Empathy Test. He is a British born musician who currently resides in Linz, Austria. In Empathy Test, Isaac partners with music producer/composer Adam Relf, though they’ve incorporated sounds from other musicians, including former live members Oliver Marson and drummer Christina Lopez.

Empathy Test’s last record was 2020’s Monsters, their third studio album. I named Monsters the best synthpop album of the year for capturing all our messy emotions during the pandemic era. Empathy Test is working on a follow-up to Monsters. This year, they’re celebrating their 10th anniversary with a string of dates around Europe.

You can find “House of Cards” on Bandcamp and Spotify.

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