ALBUM REVIEW: Paris Texas – ‘Mid Air’ Undefinably Special

Drum pounds, guitar riffs, hardcore synth, acoustic plucks, and hard-hitting raps are just a few characteristics of Paris Texas’ new album Mid Air, released on July 21, 2023. In 2021, duo Louie Pastel and Felix released BOY ANONYMOUS, the eight tracks immediately propelling the pair into the spotlight of experiemental music. In the past two years, they have performed at festivals around the country, released an EP, and continued to solidify their unique sounds and genre-blending styles, straying so far off the beaten path that the only option was to create their own road. Mid Air’s sixteen tracks are nothing short than the outcome of total creative freedom, mixed with biting lyrics and instrumentals that defy all conventional means.


“Who wanna rock?/Who wanna roll?” Louie questions in the opening song “tenTHIRTYseven.” With a loud, catchy electric guitar beat amped up with synth, the song serves as a reminder of Paris Texas’ singular means of combining different styles to produce a new sound altogether. What makes Mid Air entirely cohesive — despite each track’s meaning differing from the previous ones — are the buzzing transitions from song to song, seen immediately in “Split-Screen,” the piece bleeding directly from the opening number. 


Collaborating with fellow experimental artist Kenny Mason, Paris Texas changes pace yet again in the third song “DnD.” Reflecting on their newfound success, and society’s need to label their sound into a genre, Louie raps, “Being yourself isn’t all that you thought/N***** gon’ still put yo’ *ss in a box.” Softer guitar strums emphasize the strength of each of the artists’ voice, allowing every verse to gain in impact rather than diminish.

“Closed Caption,” the fifth song on Mid Air, reflects on the duo’s flaws and anxieties. In a fit of self-reflection, the track is reminiscent of early Kendrick as the instruments are scaled back to highlight the song’s overarching apology: “Sorry right now, apologize to my seed/Everything I am, you ‘gon be/Genetics is a b*tch I had to learn to accept.”

The ninth song “Everybody’s Safe Until…” leads in with Nirvana-like energy and steady drums, the piece focusing on the duo’s fears about the many things in the world that could kill them. Throughout the album, lyrics are chanted rather than rapped or sung; this not only points out the phrases even more, but captures an almost preacher-esq perspective to single out the summarizing themes. For this song, Felix breaks up verses with “There’s people tryna kill me, other than me.”

Rapper, singer-songwriter Teezo Touchdown joins the pair on the thirteenth song “Full English.” While the track is nothing more than a list of typical British articles — tea time, roasts, Harry Potter — the chanting intensity and high energy synth are beautifully glorified, and broken-up, with Teezo’s slower, acoustic verse.


“Ain’t No High,” the penultimate track, drastically lowers the pace from what the majority of Mid Air rang in. Drawing in the acoustic notes of artists like SZA, and pairing it with Midwest emo strums, “Ain’t No High” speaks on the many outcomes of drug use. “This is the best thing that I’ve ever felt/Can’t get it back, so, how time supposed to heal?/Who can hurt me more than I hurt myself?” Mid Air closes with “…We Fall,” an all-encompassing summary of the journey just taken. Opening with electric guitar, meeting midway with futuristic beats, and closing with a soft piano melody, the song charts the wide range in music, style, and nature that Paris Texas so assertively displayed in the tracks before. 

On “…We Fall,” the duo notes that when starting their musical career they “just kept faith that we find our own sound.” And without a doubt, Paris Texas has done just that. Not in terms of subscribing to one already developed beat, but rather by creating tones totally original to themselves. In a need to constantly define every new subject and plot out the exact coordinates of every guitar, drum, or keyboard change, Paris Texas’ Mid Air serves as a definitive statement that their music is genreless and unable to be categorized as anything other than special.