It's that time again where we look back at some of the greatest bands and artists of the year. Deciding who has made it onto the famous Third Outing Best 11 teamsheet is always a difficult task. It's certainly been an inspiring year for alternative music; we've seen the best of Indie, Pop, Punk, Rock & Roll and so much more. Unable to keep it to 11 places (this year subs and a manager are included), it's time to get the show on the road and introduce the Third Outing Best 11 of 2016...
1: Fletcher C Johnson Wilder Than Me Thank god Super Fan 99 was here to save us with the discovery of Fletch. In the earlier days, his voice presented itself with a more mellow and soft touch, the sounds very much associated with classic American DIY. This year Johnson returned with a new album Lesson In Tenderness and it's first release Wilder Than Me. His imagination is still vivid, the voice more unique and the guitars extra skewed.
2: Here's Andy Spreadin' Thin Spreadin' Thin was written with the listener in mind. "I am moving on and I'm doing just fine, I'll be ok I just need more time" sings Andy on the promising track which made waves earlier in the year on Third Outing. Here's Andy is a Kurt Cobain fan and you can hear the influence. He has hit the nail right on the head there. Some follow up to the 2015 Small & Scary, it has left us wondering what 2017 will bring...
3: YOWL Saturday Drag On Saturday Drag there is a line you might yell at someone across an empty room, half-drunk paranoiac. "I went to the doctor and I said I'm scared again. Now I am scared of everyone". But it’s not hollered, it’s sung, almost poetically so, by YOWL's front man Gabriel Byrde. The band might at first sound apathetic like they don't really care. But listen closely, their music goes beyond. Saturday Drag is the helpless song of the year.
4: Jackson Reed Goodbye Endless Summer Across four songs Jackson Reed's The November Gales dabbles in serious deadpan surrealism. "I want to take a trip just to prove I exist", he whispers on Goodbye Endless Summer. Released on Deadplant Records, Reed's play is almost perfectly delivered, full of little sounds and details which take time to master. Discovering his music in the way only the best songwriters can, Reed is all about taking the journeys and living life.
5: Navy Gangs Special Gland 2016 marked the release of Navy Gangs' highly anticipated new EP. Full of youthful exuberance and wrapped in delicious halos of intoxicating reverb, ear-shredding fuzz and occasional pensive melancholia, this release was one of the richest doses of bittersweet nostalgia to fill your ears this year. The most genuinely Lo-Fi band, you could say they bleed it, they could develop into a classic...watch this space.
6: Cigarettes After Sex K Masters in the art of romance, melancholy and the seductive side of Rock and Roll, Cigarettes After Sex have had a great 2016. K is the soft but strong new release which Third Outing sawplayed to perfection in front of an adoring crowd earlier this year. It's little wonder why CAS have become a huge success. Front man Greg Gonzales is like Thiago Motta from PSG. He is relaxed, knows what he's doing, and delivers the right play every single time.
7: Catholic Action L.U.V The Scottish Glam Rock outfit Catholic Action shared the L.U.V this year with their simple pop structures and outstanding sense of melody. The first notes of the release is a pure clarion call, something exciting is truly about to go down. After such a year we're certain their self-concious and witty atmosphere is the perfect tonic to creating the perfect pop song. Catholic Action are the ones to keep the faith in for 2017.
8: The Orielles Jobin The Orielles have some serious sing along potential and Jobin is a real anthem track. From the opening words, and the lovely downward inflection on the word 'Brother' in the opening line, you find yourself surfing the waterfall of The Orielles. Though the Jobin EP, released on Art Is Hard Records, is only three tracks long, it's a record which portrays great diversity. Thankfully a new release is planned for next year...
9: Sammy Hale Hollywood Hills There's no doubt about it, Sammy Hale's debut LP Post Cult is a magnificent piece of work. His voice powers above all. It's a strong, raucous growl which will become his signature, and one which he rightly compares to Joshua Tillman AKA Father John Misty. Song after song on the record stand out in their own right as the moment to savour, but Hollywood Hills is our one to remember...
10: TV Girl Taking What's Not yours Inspired + (Sharp Bursts Of Colour; TV Girl) = Cool. That's the equation we formulated to describe the sensational TV Girl earlier this year. They are no ordinary group. With a sweet distinct mixture of musical genres all effortlessly fitting into one certain style and sense of cool, Third Outing regard this as one of the best songs of the year. Even the music video is a testament to how the group makes colour work for them!
11: SKiNNER Chair Kicker It's the music you wanna hear when you're trying to grasp the essence of life. Real, rough, ready, cheap poetry which tells the story of so many young people. But SKiNNER isn't necessarily trying to define the sound of his generation, he's just being it. Chair Kicker is the ultimate example from SKiNNER's standout 2016 release SKINT. Our final player in the Third Outing Best 11 of the year, it can only be SKiNNER...
SUB: Mal Devisa Fire Sometimes 11 selections just isn't enough. Equally as deserving in the starting line up is Mal Devisa for her incredible 2016 release Kiid. Lyricism, voice and delivery. Rarely do all three come together as the "package deal" and rarely do they come together with such abundance and creativity. Fire has to be one of the stand outs of the year; feel her pain, her sorrow, her optimism, until a final note which just kills you.
SUB: Hush Moss It Takes A Lot Hush Moss were a relatively unknown quantity before the release of It Takes A Lot, but it's already proved to be the soundtrack of the summer for Third Outing. There's some seriously impressive skills on show here, and not least from the blinding rhythm across the bass lines and percussion. Expect a lot more from our Nacho Libre loving friends over the next year...
SUB: Hovvdy In My Head Though the music can be labelled as Indie Rock, Hovvdy managed to create a world of their own this year. Pure toned, with beautifully odd, angular and inverted melodies, there's another side to Hovvdy's sound. When you suss the formula out, you understand what's going on. It's an experiment and venture towards something new. Our final song of the year is In My Head; almost the perfect song.
Manager: Healthy Eating Records Finally it's time for the Record Label of the year. We've been lucky enough to work with some of the best Indie labels around over the past 12 months, but few shine brighter than Healthy Eating Records. The Leeds based DIY label have been responsible for some of the best releases of recent times including Third Outing favourites Chest Pains and the infamous Yorkshire Puddings compilation.