Ron Capps has crafted an unmissable collection of original songs for this stunning debut EP. The deeply contemplative, eye-opening project Trying To Catch Amnesia, is one that poetically explores the various struggles, the turmoil and reality, of life for combat veterans as they return to their families.
Being a disabled veteran himself, the artist’s unique perspective is perhaps what gives this EP such a poignant and compelling, emotive and soulful edge. The writing is beautifully nostalgic, leaning back towards the folk and Americana artists of a simpler era.
Featuring a superb use of metaphor and heartfelt honesty alike, Carry Me opens things up and introduces softly stunning vocals and a blissfully organic musical set-up – reigniting the live scene and reinforcing the natural connection between the artist and the subject matter; and the artist and his audience.
‘And the dead sing to the living
But the living they won’t listen
So the dead drink from the river to forget.‘
Ron has a way with the clever and creative framing of ideas. Despite the comforting arrangement of the music, and the accessible sound of the voice, these lyrics capture the essence of war and the absurdity of ‘normal life’ in light of it.
This Time is a fine example of precisely this quality – the experience of returning, the sights, the people, the lack of understanding. ‘Daddy, did you win the war this time?’. All that was lost, that others can’t see – because you’re home, and that’s all they could have hoped for. It’s a heartbreaking outcry that’s so incredibly gentle in sound yet mighty in subject.
The Forever War rings out as a country-folk single with poignant scene-setting and observational story-telling. Ron places the listener in the role of the veteran, not unlike the great poets of the world wars once did and still do to this day.
Prehab follows, and gentle finger-picking takes us through the direct thoughts and feelings of the soldier, the songwriter; the man, uncertain and lost in limbo.
Then we get the EP’s title-track, and a shuffle of a folk-country rhythm takes the reigns, along with some gentle strings. Third person story-telling shifts the mood somewhat, and this final cinematic journey encapsulates the focus of the soldier and the stark contrast between life at war and life back safe in the homeland. The desire to forget is one that screams out in a soulful, hypnotic fashion – reminding us to be grateful for the calm and quiet we get to experience.
Rarely can an artist commit so fully to the moment and the circumstances of their writing, than one who has genuinely committed so wholly elsewhere to a particular struggle or weight that can’t be compared. Ron Capps loses himself in the moment with these songs, because, as the EP seems to explain, he lost a huge part of his life and his personality in experiencing the horrors of war. That level of realness and purity, the need to write songs and express feelings and ideas, is such a rare and commendable quality, and it shines with unquestionable brightness throughout this release.