Singled Out: 09's Idle Hands Featuring Chris Ratzlaff

Keavin Wiggins | 04-29-2020

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Portland rock project 09 recently released a new single called "Idle Hands" featuring Chris Ratzlaff (Northlander, Fallstar) and to celebrate we asked the project's Chancelor Reeder to tell us about the song. Here is the story:

Idle Hands' is our most frenetic song to date. We wanted to make something fast, and really lean into the energy, especially coming off of our song 'Impermanence.' Chancelor was playing with some Lee Malia Kemper presets, and found that having the gain pushed so far that it was almost fuzzy really inspired him to play around with some heavier riffs. This is also our first song with a guitar solo in it, which was a cool opportunity for Chance to flex a little bit and for us to bring a different type of melody to one of our songs.

Lyrically, this song really took a while to break. It was written, in a broad sense, about anxiety and trying to reconcile your own perception with the truth of the world around you. Chris---who we knew when this project started, before we ever wrote a song, that we wanted to collaborate with---generally writes his melodies and song structures using placeholder lyrics, which are largely incoherent. It was a really cool process that helped us to come at the lyrics we'd been writing in a different way---having the cadence and sections written revolving a certain flow or a number of syllables pushed us to be more creative in spots, and really work to make the lyrics work for us and serve the song, instead of trying to force a round peg into a square hole, so to speak. Melody is something Chris just excels at---he writes the catchiest stuff. From the group vocals leading into the chorus, to the alternating lines at the end, there are a ton of granular elements that give this song a great texture.

"Idle Hands is like a combo of that really hot sauce they put in my burrito bowls and that strange whiskey [our producer] Justin always kept in the cupboard!

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen and watch for yourself below

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