DECLAN MURRAY - Lead vocals, guitars, slide guitar, bass guitar, piano and bongos
AMITH NARAYAN - Harmony vocals, guitars, mandolin, veena and bass guitar
The Unseen Guest make music that is difficult to pin down. Wedding traditional Indian instruments with Western song-writing and guitar, and covering it with rich vocal harmonies, they apply this basic idea to songs that come from every end of the spectrum - sounding sometimes like a mix of American folk blues and Carnatic music, sometimes like a Parisian taking on Nick Drake, at others like Buena Vista by way of Mumbai. They manage to incorporate Western music with traditional Indian instruments in a way that makes it genuinely new, avoiding patchouli-scented cliché or Bollywood bombast.
The Unseen Guest came about when, Declan met Amith while he was travelling through South India in 2002 with a $5 balsa-wood guitar. The two became friends and met again in Mumbai where Amith was based, where they spent several weeks jamming, busking and singing to anyone who’d listen.
Later in the year, while Declan was still on the road, Amith sent him an email, suggesting recording an album mixing Indian music with Western. Declan, busy working at the bottom rung of the Australian job ladder, was only too happy to accept. The following year they met up again in Amith’s hometown of Calicut in Kerala, assembled a rotating cast of local musicians, and set to work on recording their debut album.
The result is ‘Out There', a self-produced album that belies the freewheeling spirit it was made in, with a soul that shows its international origins, and a natural sound that doesn’t sugar-coat the excellent live playing of its participants. With a percussive throb that is provided by Indian musicians playing everything from tablas, dholaks and mridangam, to mandolins, harmonium, veena, and carnatic violin, topped with the intricate guitars of Declan and Amith, the album melds left-field Western music with Indian in a way that has never been done before.
REVIEWS OF "OUT THERE"
"In short, 'Out There' might be the best recording I've heard in a decade or more. I'm giving it a 9 out of 10. Nothing gets a 10, ever, even if God descends to record His/Her/Its debut"
- DUTCH PROGRESSIVE ROCK PAGE, Netherlands
"The Unseen Guest is one of the most exciting new groups I've heard this year"
- WWW.CDREVIEWS.COM, USA
"The mix of Eastern sounds and Western song writing not only creates an original and ground-breaking sound, it is also puts forward ten songs that are nothing short of breathtakingly beautiful musical masterpieces"
- BONEMACHINE, Australia
"The Unseen Guest is a journey through all kinds of music, a great sound collage. This is music with soul"
- DAREDEVIL MAGAZINE, Germany
"This is the sort of album Sunday afternoons were made for. Relaxed in tempo, expansive in atmosphere and provoking in thought...In short, a fascinating album which will appeal to all those with a streak of independence, a desire for free thought and a laid back attitude to life"
- [THE MAG], UK
"The Unseen Guest is another band that has accomplished the seemingly impossible. They have taken traditional Indian instruments and managed to wed the sound with American Folk and Blues to create a sound which is distinctly their own"
- WWW.INDIEMUSIC.INFO, USA
"It's a synergistic marriage of Western and Indian music. It swings, it rocks, it's exotic and bluesy. It does a little bit of everything"
- NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS, USA
"Amazing pop rock for people all over the Earth.... This is the high-point of chill-out music with worldly flair...even after somewhere around forty-five minutes of stellar songwriting, I feel like I haven't had enough of these musicians, and it just might be "never enough"
- ROCKNWORLD.COM, USA
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