Music ~ JOHN GRANT
Musically its been a year of rich and rewarding music. the No1 discovery being John Grant's back catalogue. Here he is singing I Hate This Town at the Other Voices festival in Dingle, Ireland.
Film ~ WHAT RICHARD DID
Whilst we are in Ireland, I'll mention a fab little low budget movie made there ~ What Richard Did. It follows the fluctuating and often contradictory moral responses of the main character Richard after a fight has an unforeseen and tragic consequences for him.
Television ~ BROADCHURCH
In the wake of Scandi-Noir, ITV came up with its own original and equally addictive take on it, Broadchurch. Starring, in my opinion, two of the best actors currently working on television, David Tennant and Olivia Coleman.
Music ~ JAMES BLAKE
On his second album Blake manages to pull together all the quirkiness and tangential styles that were on his debut and make a record that constantly innovates within its deceptively laid back electro form.
Film - A PLACE BEYOND THE PINES
You'd be mistaken if you thought this was Ryan Gosling retreading Drive territory. He's only in it for the first third of the movie, but his character is the sort of karmic origins for all that follows. It explores a broad range of issues, the connections between Fathers and Sons, revenge, hero worship and the darker varieties of unfinished familial business.
Television ~ THE FALL
Cool as a cucumber Gillian Anderson's character comes to dominate this original serial killer drama set in Northern Ireland. Taking the unusual step of showing you who the murderer is right from the start. His very ordinariness and cunning make the shocking macabre nature of his crimes all the more disturbing.
Music - THE CIVIL WARS
I came so late to this duo that they'd split up. But this year I couldn't get enough of their closely knit edgy harmonies. The country folk of From This Valley, has some wonderful vocal elevations, that soar upwards into the heavens.
Film ~ BEHIND THE CANDELABRA
Camp, Catty and Compassionate, this film presents Liberace in the sort of full technicolour he wouldn't have dared do in his day. Micheal Douglas and Matt Damon, give it their all and though they are utterly brilliant. Rob Lowe, as the spooky plastic surgeon, steals every seen he's in.
Television ~ WHAT REMAINS
Whilst on holiday in Whitby, we watched this compelling little series, about the death of a tenant in the attic. Her life seems outwardly so ordinary and unimportant, until more and more of the other tenants involvement with her, and their morally dodgy lives is gradually revealed. So did she actually die accidentally or was it murder after all?
Music ~ YEAH YEAH YEAHS
They're now becoming old veterans on the New York art rock underground scene, but they still kick ass like no other. This years album Sacriledge contained a bevvy of golden nuggets, none more so than Buried Alive.
Film ~ GRAVITY
This film was a wonderful surprise, a 3D film that was actually worth doing and seeing in 3D. Its also a fantastic space based nail biting thriller, with emotional, and sometimes philosophical, depth. It also made you appreciate Sandra Bullock's skill as an actress, which is alone a great achievement.
Music ~ LAURA MARLING
Already on her fourth album, and Laura Marling appears to just keep on getting better and better. The opening suite of songs which run into each other musically, conclude with I Am The Master Hunter, one of many stand out songs from Once I Was An Eagle.
Television ~ RIPPER STREET
After the slightly clunky 'cockernee' of the first series, Ripper Street became a really compelling drama series in its second. Set in the early Victorian days of the police force, it manages to cleverly weave in the roots of modern issues like feminism, prostitution, homosexuality, failing banks, the Irish question, religious cults and corruption without it feeling remotely contrived. Probably my favourite TV drama of 2013, that for some baffling reason the BBC isn't recommissioning.
Music ~ ARCTIC MONKEYS
After a few albums where they searched, often in vain, for fresh territories to explore,suddenly the Arctic Monkeys get their act triumphantly together. AM proves a real return to form, whilst also moving them into a different league musically. Addictive stuff.