Published Nov 15, 2019Bogues' third EP, Paint All the Walls the Same, like any good conclusion to a trilogy, picks up right where he left off. Opening track "Aurora Alone" follows the same Bogues formula — the intro is a slow trickle, followed by a strong build. "I promise I'm not calling 'cause I'm lonely," he sings, and automatically, we remember sophmore EP Life, Slowly — a collection of songs rich with desolation.
Bogues, the recording project of AJ Gruenewald, is notorious for writing lyrics that stick to your ribs, causing pain upon impact. Throughout his three EPs, heavy themes of abandonment, loss and nostalgia are woven throughout; Paint All the Walls the Same is no exception, but with some added bonuses.
Since Mulligan, Bogues has only grown and evolved. "Light Where There Was None" reminds us of those Bogues ballads we loved in the past, yet elevated by more intricate production. This is the fullest he's ever sounded, weaving heavy guitar chording with echoey vocals.
Gruenewald steps out of his comfort zone again with "Rain All Day" — a synthy track that uses bells, dog barks and other atmospheric elements that really transcend anything else we've heard before. This track becomes sensory; it transports you to that place of mundane discomfort, only to strip down to familiar elements at the end.
This EP really does feel like the end of a triology. "South for the Summer" provides an unhappy ending, loaded with greif and loss — and yet, it feels like he's finally making sense of it all. With artists like Julien Baker and Taylor Janzen singing lyrics that so openly discuss mental illeness and loss, Bogues is occupying space among these artists, too. "I thought I felt better, but it was just a phase," he screams, as the EP comes to an end — but we're there with him, holding on to every word, both offering and receiving consolation. (Independent)