Premiere: On “All It Takes,” Empathy Test Dive into Something Wonderful

Empathy Test © 2017
Recommended If You Like: A Silent Film, U2, Nightly, Bleachers

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“What the hell am I so afraid of?” ask Empathy Test on their latest single. A late night reflection full of heart, hope and hesitation, “All It Takes” captures the intense weight of love’s beginnings – the power of those first steps down a long and winding road.

Woke up at her place, tired and yawning
Looked out a window on a, perfect morning, there’s a
Sailing boat, in the square
Just like me, wondering how it got there.
Listen: “All It Takes” – Empathy Test

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “All It Takes,” off Empathy Test’s forthcoming debut album, Safe From Harm (independently out November 17, 2017). The London-based duo of childhood friends Isaac Howlett and Adam Relf, Empathy Test dive deep into their hearts to pull out something truly special on “All It Takes.”

The song’s cathartic pulse reflects the sounds and feel of Atwood favorites A Silent Film, our 2017 artist to watch Nightly, and Joshua Tree-era U2: It’s the musical manifestation of midnight shivers and twilight feelings, those endless broodings we enter into just before bedtime.

Or rather, the thoughts that keep us from closing our eyes at night.

Safe From Harm - Empathy Test

Safe From Harm – Empathy Test

Stood by her bed, and
I, watched her sleeping

Through her scattered clothes,
I go creeping

And I’m wondering
What the hell am I so afraid of?

Love is scary and daunting: Despite all the excitement and pent-up anticipation, there is also this (rather warranted) anxiety that comes alongside it. Putting it rather lightly, relationships are a big deal; to enter into one means submitting your full self, independence and all.

One becomes two.

We can hear the sparks flying in the song’s chorus as the band sing out:

This is the beginning of something wonderful
This is the beginning of something magical
This is the beginning of something wonderful.
This is the beginning of something wonderful.
This is the beginning of something magical
And all it gives, and all it takes away.
Empathy Test © 2017

Empathy Test © 2017

Howlett and Relf describe “All It Takes” as  “a song about ‘the beginning of something wonderful, and all it gives, and all it takes away.’ On the surface it’s about a new relationship, but it also comes at a poignant time for Empathy Test. We’re releasing our debut album and things are about to get even more exciting. Just like love, success has a habit of giving and taking away. Stylistically, it’s also a huge departure for us. Hopefully, people will love it as much as we do!”

Woke up at her place, early evening
She floats towards me and I’m, barely breathing, there’s a
Ray of sun, in her hair
Just like me, wondering how it got there.
Stand on the ledge, and I, walk out on the air
I could die here and I, really wouldn’t care
I’m dropping in, I’m dropping out
I’m calling in, I’m calling out.

The childhood friends are on the precipice of something… magical, and they know it. Through directly and indirectly addressing it, they are able to capture this moment in their lives – to bottle that feeling of embarking on unknown, new territory that, at face value, must certainly feel like a dream come true. Every young songwriter dreams of one day releasing their debut: Of defining something that they have control and ownership of, and are proud to unleash to the world.

Having been together for nearly 5 years, Empathy Test have weathered any growing pains and successfully carved out a distinct place – a little niche – in the world of music. Now it’s their time: With Safe From Harm out in just ten days (11/17/2017), this truly is the beginning of something wonderful.

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Safe From Harm - Empathy Test

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photo © 2017

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Mitch Mosk

Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com