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In an interview with Buzzfeed's Charlie Warzel, technologist Aviv Ovadya coined the term "reality apathy" to describe the sensation caused by being bombarded with misinformation and deception in the digital age. What he describes is a kind of mental exhaustion. According to Ovadya, an endless stream of potentially manipulated images and information from untrustworthy sources will gradually wear down people's wills to engage with the world. Skepticism leads to cynicism, which is ground down into an acceptance that nothing can be trusted. Ovadya's worst case scenario is a nightmarish "infopocaylpse" where the very concept of truth is bent into a pretzel.

I don't know if Spanish duo SDH are familiar with Ovadya's analysis, but they would probably tip their own tinfoil hats in his direction. Sergi Aldiz and Andrea P. Latorre's first EP, Tell Them, sets anxiety over the thin line between fact and fiction to the tune of moody, but lively, darkwave. While their music has always been informed by pop melody and performed at danceable tempos, SDH (short for Semiotics Department of Heteronyms) clearly aren't trying to make you feel good. That dour approach is magnified on "The Scent," the first single from the group's upcoming self-titled full length. If their previous releases had been the dance party during the infopocaylpse, "The Scent" is the bleak morning after.

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The prevailing mood is one of resignation. Latorre's melody hangs on the edges of "The Scent"'s rhythm, her words trailing off and fading into the waves of synthesizers crashing behind her. Her performance, along with the song's static harmony, gives "The Scent" a cold and detached air appropriate for their chosen genre's conventions. It also, intentionally or not, is a perfect fit for Ovadya's theories about reality apathy. Unlike "Tell Them," which slyly prodded the listener to question reality, "The Scent" evokes what it feels like to live in an age of distrust and despair.

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Follow SDH on Facebook. You can pre-order Semiotics Department of Heteronyms here.

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