Marking the first, according to the PR, duo harp and Manx Gaelic vocal album to bereleased, Lossan(meaning Light’ or ‘Glimmer”) is an effective and pleasing collaboration between singer Ruth Keggin and harpist Rachel Hair.
Celtic tradition is at the heart of the album, with songs exploring Manx Gaelic culture and its links with Scotland. Musically too, subtle accompaniment is provided by Adam Brown on bodhran, Adam Rhodes on bouzouki and Isla Callister on fiddle.
There are some sweet Manx lullabies here, with the opener Arraneyn Cadlee’ combining the Christmas songs ‘Lullaby of the Virgin Mary’ and Cradle Song’. Indeed, Manx lullabies make a regular, and pleasing, appearance on Lossan. Traditional Scottish jigs are on offer – ‘Na Compaich ag Ol’, one of a set of tunes on ‘Tri Nation Harp Jig – and traditional ballads too – ‘Bothan Airigh am Bràigh Raineach’, which begins ‘Ny Kirree Fo Niaghtey’. With a finely polished approach highlighting Keggin’s clean, classical voice and Hair’s evocative harp the duo prove an intoxicating blend. Lossan may feel a little twee and too smooth for some listeners, but if you are seeking a gentle, hypnotic and thoroughly soothing listen then you will savour this wholeheartedly.