London-based duo ArHai was formed in 2009, and is an ongoing collaboration between Serbian born composer and vocalist Jovana Backovic and UK award winning multi-instrumentalist Adrian Lever. The music they create has often been described as cinematic; inspired on one side by both traditional music from the Balkans and Gaelic regions and electronic/experimental sound worlds on the other.
The first release ' Eastern Roads' (2013) focused mostly on Balkan oral traditions and is driven by Adrian's relentless tambura riffs combined with Jovana's ethereal vocals. Although experimenting freely with the old songs, the album remains rooted in the oral tradition of the Balkans. Their second endeavour, EP 'Where Light Resides' (2019) marks a noticeable shift towards original song-writing and compositions; though the ethnic and early music influences still make themselves felt, the EP is leaning heavily towards songwriting and a carefully crafted contemporary sound.
ArHai is currently recording their third studio album ( 2021) that expands on the sound world of their EP. With the addition of drums and synth bass, original compositions have moved towards more progressive and experimental folk music genres. Although tambura, dulcimer and voice are still very much in the forefront, the new music grows out of an improvisational and free form approach, creating songs that reflect all the influences both musicians have brought into the project over the years. The new single 'Immovable' ( out on 29th of January 2021 ) heralds the sound of the upcoming album.