By Dan Cava
October 6, 2017
Charlotte supergroup The Queen’s Guard released their lead single, “Blink.” The song’s mixture of irresistible, riff-laden funk and “life is short”-themed lyrics seem perfect for the many surprises 2017 has thrown at us so far. “Blink” starts off with what seems to be a warm blanket of synths before swirling into a blazing minor key party groove. Soon lead singer Blanche-J is riding a magic carpet of organs and rhythm while gently warning us against the folly of taking our time for granted. It’s a perfect message for the this era: let’s come together and get down, but don’t forget to keep your eyes open.
“‘BLINK’ = carpe diem!” explains Blanche, “This song does not suggest careless living or for someone to make irresponsible decisions. To me, it simply encourages one to take advantage of the moment and be adventurous! No one knows their length on the earth, so love hard and never be afraid to live your best life.”
The Queen’s Guard is a newly branded outfit, uniting some of Charlotte’s best and most accomplished musicians under a twofold goal, according to guitarist Stefan Kallander: “bring our funk to the world” and “bring attention to the high level and under-appreciated music culture we have here in Charlotte.”
Band members have played with the likes of George Clinton, Anthony Hamilton, Kirk Franklin, and Chantae Cann. These are influences that can be heard in their music through gospel keys, stabbing Chicago horns, wakka-wakka funk guitars, and silky-rough soul vocals.
The band seems to have been blessed from the beginning.
“It was a serendipitous beginning,” remembers guitarist Stefan, “We had been playing together in different contexts on some gigs around town, church, etc. but then got the opportunity to open for KING last year at Neighborhood Theatre.” From the get-go, the crowd reaction was ecstatic. “We were welcomed and reveled like the audience had known us for decades. Getting off stage we felt it was a confirmation like, ‘Man, we do have something special here.’”
If last year’s debut concert at The Neighborhood Theatre is any indication, we need to keep our calendars open for every one of this group’s local gigs. Hopefully “Blink” is not the first studio blast from The Queen’s Guard, but the first of many more to come.
Check out more about Queen’s Guard on Instagram.