Pop in the cassette tape, we are heading to dreamland and nostalgic indie summer, Flaws in Our Design really said. If I had to liken this euphonic EP to a physical object, it would no doubt be a tastefully gaudy Memphis Style house. Think terrazzo floors, funky furniture, and plastered pastel paint, but as a synaesthetic song with shimmering synths, breathy vocals, and hypnotic drum beats. By nature of its arrangement, Flaws in Our Design exudes breezy, ebullient fun; but as its lyrics broach on about desire, "breaking and aching," the EP undulates with deeper undercurrents. While the sound of this EP pulsates with electrifying breakbeats, you can also taste a strain of folksy, Beatlesque, trippy ’60s flavor. Needless to say, this summer will add a tropical stroke to both ODESZA and Cape-town-based counterpart Yellow House's discography.
Listeners, enjoy this EP in one sitting for a delightful somniferous ride. “Dissolved into Daydream” beckons the listeners to close their eyes to keep the magic alive. While the first track heightens our minds halfway on cloud 9, uselessly drifting away like wisps of cotton, the following track “Easy Money” lures us in with catchy tunes until we succumb like powerless pennies, offering our unguarded hearts like tokens of easily obtained money and faith. Thankfully, "Waiting Forever" has been waiting in line to revitalize us like the first gulp of a refreshing mango-a-go-go. This track mashes together wonky-sounding yawps and woots into an upbeat, refreshing smoothie. But like all purees, this one has a secret kick in it——the song's chorus welcomes an energetic tempo switch by bursting into a fast-paced, toe-tapping drum beat. Up next is the most anticipated and most streamed track “Heavier” spreading its infectious charm like slow-acting hemlock love poison. The song oscillates between a thick, low-pitched croon and a silky, suave song, not unlike the stylistic contrast between Lennon and McCartney. Only at the very end of “Heavier,” do you discover its title’s real “weight,” head in the clouds oblivious, you finally realize that you're in too deep— the track’s magnetic pull has already dragged you into a marshland of mire and messy love. “Undone” doesn't help much with your gradual plummet. As smooth synths and creamy vocals cruise out the speakers, "Undone" works its wonders. Like progressive muscle relaxation, it unspools you into a pile of wool. Finally, now all fuzzy and warm, we play the last track, one about the self-effacing limits of human strength and about “barely hold[ing] these wretched stitches together.” Like every high must come down, “Flaws in Our Design” gently lets us back down from psychedelic skies to firm-footed ground. Quavering in drawn-out lyrics, it prods us with a realistic reminder: our souls will tire and our bodies will fray. But is this the end? Was the last 20 minutes us futilely plain sailing in a dreamland ultimately doomed to end on a morose note? Well, you'd be wrong. This EP is too much of a summer bop to let that slide. As the last melodies fade out in "Flaws in Our Design," a drum fill pumps forth in a crescendo. Every drumbeat instills new verve, as if pounding in mantra “I may be flawed, I may have taken few falls, but I’m still running.”
Words by Shea