Single of the Week: “Felt Tip Head” by Any Numbers.


Any Numbers are a neo-soul, funk-rock, neo-psychedelic, dream-pop, electronic, Trip-pop, dance, new wave, post-punk band from Manchester and Leeds, whose eclectic music effortlessly binds and loosens to make way for an ever-expanding, experimental sound. There’s an almost freestyling vibe to Any Numbers, a sort of anything goes, non-committal connection to a particular genre, that serves their restless and enthusiastic spirit to make music that enthrals and challenges them. Nothing seems to faze this band, in terms of musical leaps and diversions as they are in it for the craft, the creativity and adrenaline rush at their live gigs.

With Nikki Gleave on vocals, Chris Horan on keyboards, Karen Wonky on bass and Daniel Butler on guitar, Any Numbers are a band that ticks all the boxes, and within a short time have been making waves both locally and further afield. Established in 2018, Any Numbers have already caught the eye of Chameleons’ Mark Burgess, who was so impressed he asked them to support them on his recent tour across the UK. As well as being selected to play for Musicians against Homelessness, Any Numbers have played a string of festivals over the summer and whose debut single “Felt Tip Head”,  has been nominated as my “Single of the Week.”

Felt Tip Head

As a debut song, “Felt Tip Head” is pretty much in a league of its own. It’s an immaculate production, which spearheads new wave, funk-rock and neo-psychedelic and catapults Manchester based music into a brand new horizon. With such a rich musical heritage to be compared to, “Felt Tip Head” isn’t your “typical” Manchester guitar, synth infused track, but more a quantum leap into the grass-roots of Soul/Funk Americana, intermixed with 80’s new-wave. It’s a track which could have easily been produced by Nile Rodgers and sampled by N.E.R.D, giving Pharrell Williams a run for his money.

Through the brooding bass, scratchy needle-synths and space-percussions, “Felt Tip Head”, slithers into the recesses s of Trip-hop, whilst heavy breathing new life into the Hello Nasty grooves of Old-skool Hip-Hop. Along with the sassy vocals of Gleave, “Felt Tip Head” captivates and unravels through a hybrid of breezy cool, siren-esque seduction and soulful wisps.

Through the crunchy riffs and funky farfisa, “Felt Tip Head” quivers in trepidation and descends into an underground of urban soul. Along with the gritty lyrics and delivery of sleek sprechgesang, “Felt Tip Head” probes and spins in an interval of neo-psychedelic-kitchen-sink funk. It’s an amazing song, which stands out amongst its peers and lifts the bar on what is emerging as an exciting era for original music, which has abandoned rock cliches and staying true to its own creativity and evolution.
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