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Empathy Test set to release addictive electronic album exploring themes of isolation and hope

After the huge success of their latest single ‘Mon..



After the huge success of their latest single ‘Monsters’, electro pop band Empathy Test are now set to release their highly anticipated album on May 22nd. The group consists of Isaac Howlett (vocals), Adam Relf (production), Christina Lopez (Drums) and Oliver Marson (Synthesisers) who wrote the album collaboratively and have created an addictive, psychedelic and emotional musical experience.

The album as a whole takes the listener on a journey, exploring issues that are particularly relevant in todays society. The album kicks off with title track ‘Monsters’ which reflects a generation plagued with anxiety and paranoia before leading into ‘Empty Handed’ which explores the pressures caused by our enforced obsession with fitting into the mould of what others expect of us.

“Emotional electronic music with a depth in its measure”


‘Fear of Disappearing’ discusses the idea of societies obsessions with social media and how this has shaped and developed the world we live in. In a world where popularity is often defined by how many followers or Facebook friends you have, Empathy Test question whether we are losing touch with what is really important. You can have thousands of online friends but as the chorus states, ‘it’s a long time to be alive’, especially if you’re living in an isolated world determined by social media and fake acquaintances.

“Trademark analogue synths with lashings of ’80s influence”

Line of Best Fit

The theme of helplessness and isolation continues throughout the album but is particularly prevalent in the eighth track ‘Incubation Song’. The lyrics explore feeling contained and suffocated which seems appropriate against the backdrop of the COVID-19 crisis. However, throughout the song, the lyrics begin to build into a message of how love can rebuild you and carry you through hard times, bringing an uplifting sense of hope which continues towards the end of the album and reflects the importance and impact of building each other up. This message of hope leads into the final track of the album ‘Love Moves’ which creates an emotional finale highlighting the importance and impact of love as well as the road towards healing.

“A set of songs lovers of 80s synth pop will be drooling over the minute the first verse has been heard.”

Louder Than War

Regardless of whether Empathy Test had the current climate in mind during the writing process, the album as a whole is thought provoking journey that each individual listener will relate for different reasons based on their own personal experiences. The album as a whole is exceptionally well written, creating a high standard for future artists aiming to tackle important issues within society. You’ll find yourself wanting to listen to it in it’s entirety several times to take in the message behind each track. Of course the conceptual lyrics are accompanied by an addictive, electric synth pop sound with a beautiful blend of live acoustic drums and synthesisers that is sure to win you over.

“Monsters sounds absolutely enormous. Driven by thundering drums and layers of clean, analogue synths, the band somehow sounds both thrillingly expansive and unnervingly claustrophobic”

Pop Matters

Monsters is due to be released in digital, CD and 12” Vinyl format on May 22nd. While you’re waiting, make sure to check out their previous albums which are available now on Spotify.





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No1 Showcase: The Art Of David Hicks




David Hicks is a photographer who is just as interested in the behind-the-scenes stories as he is in the stories themselves. A true photojournalist, Hicks aims to capture every aspect of waking life.

Whether that be everyday activities on the streets of Cuba to the passionate and dynamic tango culture in Buenos Aries, Hicks will be there to experience it and share it. He says of his tango collection: “The Tango, a now-popular dance between a man and a woman, started in its current form in the mid-1800s, after a massive migration to Argentina, mostly by men. Because men outnumbered women by quite some number, the only way for a man to get close to a woman was via a brothel or by dance. The men practiced together, as you’d have to be a great dancer to get a woman’s attention. So, this very sexual dance you see now was born out of the reality for men in those old days. Nowadays, you see it performed often, usually on the street corners of Buenos Aires, with live musicians or a pre-recorded soundtrack, and they do it for the tips!”

Follow David’s work down below:  HiXposure (@hixposure) / Twitter  HiXposure | Facebook HiXposure Photography (@hixposure) • Instagram photos and videos

Website: HiXPOSURE | Travel Photography

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No1 News: The Mad Game Embark On Their Latest Rage Against The Machine




It can always be a struggle when you music possesses such a crucial and pertinent message and yet you’re blocked by the damning limitations of ‘going under the radar’ – electronic animated anarchists ‘The Mad Game’ know this all too well.

The band’s debut EP, ‘Player One’, is a righteous middle finger to what they describe as ‘The Mad Game’ – the absurdities in society that have been integrated as the status quo – after tangling with governments, security services and local mafia. Their message of outrage and vitriol is a potent one found across the EPs five tracks – a mere morsel of their true potential – and is certainly enough to make listeners pay attention.

The trio’s soundscape is an eclectic one: the righteous indignation of the best punk music married beautifully to the jarring and skittish landscapes of the best electronica. The lead track, ‘Game Over ‘, in particular makes a phenomenal first impression to the animated anarchists with members Sonu, Karla and Sonya giving their respective inputs to this chilling three-pronged attack. What these newcomers nail best is their sincerity.

It’s hard to take such a venomous assault from someone you don’t genuinely believe has lived through the horrors that they detail – The Mad Game give off no such illusion. What you hear is authentic and those unaware of the band’s craft will soon learn to such things. It makes for a truly gripping and inspiring experience.

This is not a project that anyone should overlook regardless of their tastes; thoughtful, well crafted and genuine music. Not something 2021 receives in surplus.

Follow The Mad Game below: Twitter: Instagram: Spotify: Bandcamp: Youtube:


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No1 Finds: Tunetables – A Stylish Solution To Music Storage




“The Tunetables idea was borne,” says Rob Chappelhow, the man behind a range of ingenious new storage solutions, “out of a personal desire to have my music collection around me once again.”

That’s something all of us record-collector’s can empathise with. Now, I’ve banged on before about how, for many of us, digital streaming doesn’t cut it. Streaming services are great, but for a large number of us hard-core music fans, we want something we can hold in our sweaty hands, right? But, once you have all those lovely records, where do you put them?

Flat-pack shelving is fine, but it’s hardly inspiring. That’s where the Tunetables range comes into its own. More words from Rob Chappelhow, who explains that the idea came to him during a visit to  the Joe Strummer Archive exhibition in the basement of Fred Perry’s flagship store in Covent Garden – “Set out under an acrylic plinth was Strummer’s personal tape cassette collection…his musical heritage and inspiration perfectly showcased.”

It was totally spellbinding. I soon started to conceptualise how I could create my own version of this…a personal time capsule of life-affirming music. I wanted something that could be inherently useful, something that I would see and use every day, and that would be a talking point for like-minded music enthusiasts.”

And lo! Tunetables was born… What Chappelhow has done is to take brand new music-equipment flight-cases (the type we are well-used to seeing lugged around by roadies and musicians) and turn them into hand-crafted storage solutions for your CDs, tapes and vinyl. It’s a wonderful idea and, most importantly, they look great. As mentioned, each case is built by hand, and can be personalised with your own initials (or whatever you fancy). Storage ranges from 100 – 500 for CDs, 30 – 60 for tapes, and 75 for vinyl. That’s not a bad amount at all. I can see a lot of people going for this, from pro and semi-pro musicians to plain music-lovers such as myself. This is modern design with an old-school aesthetic. Check them out for yourself!

Check out Tunetables below: 



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