Keltia – Face ? Face

Keltia is a young Belgian musician, who creates folky, Celtic-inspired music, carried by her harp playing and chanted vocals. She already created a solo demo, which was reviewed earlier on Now she is back with a new cd, this time made with a band and recorded completely live.

The three musicians who support Keltia make the music more rich and varied, with bass, violin, all kinds of ethnic percussion amongst others. The harp playing of the young Keltia (born in 1985) is pleasant to listen to, but her chanted vocals cost me more effort to get used to. The fact that the album is recorded live, makes the music sound not too professional, but also energetic and spontaneous.

Eight songs are on the menu, including a decent cover of Loreena McKennitt’s well-known composition ‘Marco Polo’. I find the first song, ‘Chemin de Traverse’, an intriguing instrumental track, sort of a filmic ambient loop-based piece reminding me of Colleen or Yann Tiersen. The other songs are more what you would expect of Keltia: atmospheric, fragile compositions between folk and pop.

McKennitt is an obvious reference for this style music, as well as artists like Louisa John-Krol, Enya or Kate Bush. A track like ‘Brocéliande’, with its oriental atmosphere, makes me think of Francesco’s Banchini’s GOR. Keltia may not have reached the level of these famous examples yet, but ‘Face à Face’ contains half an hour of pleasant music which leaves a sympathetic impression.

artist: Keltia
label: Limohe Music
details: 8 tracks, 2005