Stop Light Observations is arguably one of the most successful bands to have risen from the coastal streets of Charleston, and it seemingly happened overnight. One day, they were kids forming a band and the next, they were lined up beside big names at festivals such as Bonnaroo 2013 and selling out venues like the Music Farm. Despite the local fervor and growing national fan base, the band has still managed to maintain an authenticity and devotion to their indie roots. The new single, Helicopter, is a nod to that.

The single (available to be downloaded for free) was recorded, produced, marketed and released all by the group and their team. An attest to their D.I.Y. nature, the band is known for it’s adamant independence and have been thriving off that creative freedom. John-Keith Culbreth, who initiated the band, told the City Paper in 2014, “Stop Light Observations stands for taking life slowly and having time to be aware of life’s purpose of sharing love and positivity with everyone around you.” In maintaining their identity, they’ve allowed for their music to develop when it’s ready – not when an imposed deadline is pressing.

So last December, when that creative spark must have been felt, SLO entered the studio with Eric Bass (as told on their Facebook page) to work on new material and “Helicopters” is our first glimpse into what has become of those sessions. Staying true to their Southern bluesy-rock aesthetic, the single plays with a dynamic tempo, singing guitars, a solid beat and chant-worthy lyrics: “If time was my lady/ then right now I would stop her/ And hover over this here moment/ like a helicopter.” And as if their recorded music isn’t indicative enough, the six of them have a phenomenal stage presence. See ’em soon, we’ll be following them to SXSW.

Upcoming Tour Dates

3-13 | Music Farm | Charleston, SC

3-14 | St. Patrick’s Day Festival | Columbia, SC

3-19 | Sam’s Music Hall | SanAntonio, TX

3-20 | SXSW | Austin, TX

4-02 | New Mountain | Asheville, NC

4-04 | Cone Denim Entertainment Center | Greensboro, NC

Details and Purchase Tickets Here

Written by Jess Marie Spence

Jess Marie Spence is a student at the College of Charleston studying Arts Management with a concentration in the Music Industry. She is the In-House Photographer at the Charleston Music Hall and also contributes to Charleston Grit.

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