Litha is the current new moniker adopted by the two dues quartet. Combining the Irish/Celtic/ German coupling of Aaron Jones, Claire Mann, Jurgen Treyz and Gudrun Walther, the pairings involved gel harmoniously. Their second album Dancing of the Light comes complete with new name and adopts a swing away from the familiar Celtic repertoire to dive into native Germanic folkloric and more contemporary material song wise. Germanic material whether settings of poems or the sole traditional song provides highlights. Native Germanic texts Mondlicht and Herr Oluf and the traditional Nun Wil Der Linz sees Litha giving new canvas to native words while treatment wise melding with the contemporary Celtic and medieval dives into territory occupied by fellow Teutonic revivalists like Ogunweide, Fidel Michel and Lilienthal. Rarer songs by Suzanne Vega, Karine Polwart and Tim O’Leary prove a welcome and necessary sidestep for a Pan Celtic band offering a varied and unfamiliar song repertoire. Elsewhere the tune sets rattle when needed and maintain a strict poise on slower moments.
This controlled mayhem works well and coupled with the imaginative song choice makes for a collection enjoyable and intriguing.