The Top 5 of Everything - 2014

As we all look back on the past year - and ahead to the next - it's customary to produce lists. These lists can be made for many reasons. They can be lists of resolutions, lists of achievements, lists of Christmas presents we need to return.

And then there are the Best Of... lists.

Having a toddler around the house, I can't claim to have listened to enough music, or watched enough films, or read enough books to make a truly informed decision about what was great in 2014. But there were a few things that made the year a little bit brighter and more exciting for me. So here are my favourite five things of 2014, in no particular order:

Best Album - The War on Drugs, 'Lost in the Dream'

I'd never heard of TWoD before 2014, and their discovery was a slow-burner. At first this album seemed like a mashup between Dire Straits and Bob Dylan, but the more I listened to it, the more I loved it. Now I can't go a few days without a fix. Combine that with their awe-inspiring performance at the Green Man Festival, and TWoD ruled the sonic realm this year.

Best Festival - Green Man

Which brings me neatly to my best festival experience in a long time. Okay, so I'm not exactly a regular at these things, but Green Man exceeded all expectations. Great music, great food, an interesting literary tent, movies, beer - it had it all. Plus the toilets were remarkably clean. I've already booked my ticket for next year, and advise you to do the same.

Best Film - Under the Skin

This has already topped a few best-of-year lists, so it's not exactly a controversial choice - but I know some people found it overrated. For me, it was a brilliant blend of sci-fi, horror, realism and artifice, entertaining and gripping from start to finish. Add in the superb soundtrack and some truly original sequences, and this reminded me why I love cinema.

Best TV Show - True Detective

I'm certain that not many people will dispute this choice. True Detective was the TV revelation of 2014, and like everyone else I can't wait to see where it heads next. It's hard to believe that it'll get close to the genius of this first season, though.

Best Literary Genre - Supernatural Horror

I read many great books in 2014, but if there was a trend, it was towards the ghostly and the supernatural. This was due in part to editing Litro's Horror issue, and attending the SCARdiff horror convention - but at times this fascination went beyond the personal. Supernatural horror seems to be on the rise, and reading the likes of Robert Aickman, Adam Nevill and the superb collection Poor Souls' Light from the Curious Tales collective made the genre seem fresh and unsettling all over again.