Words: Eva O’Beirne
This time last year, Irish artists were faced with the devastating reality of cancelling their Christmas gigs and shows amidst new restrictions. Now, they’re facing the cost of living crisis.
We learnt throughout the pandemic that the arts are irreplaceable, so what better way to support your favourite acts than by indulging in some merch for the festive season? We’ve compiled some of the best bits you can pick up from the merchandise stores of Irish bands and artists so you can support local and get your Christmas shopping done.
Whether you’re a casual listener of some of these acts, looking for a kris kindle present for a mate or simply want to support local artists, there’s something for everyone in this guide – so get scrolling.
Oh and don’t forget to stream their latest releases. After all, what’s that saying? Irish artists are for life, not just for Christmas?
It’s been a big year for Biig Piig. The Irish-born Spanish-raised singer recently completed a massive Glass Animals tour and dates with Jungle, as well as her first US tour with Emotional Oranges. Her merch store is stocked with rose-scented incense, pins and more. Our favourite product has to be the vinyl edition of her EP The Sky is Bleeding.
Saint Sister are a traditional folk duo consisting of Morgan MacIntyre and Gemma Doherty. Voted the “Best Irish Act” by the readers of The Irish Times in 2016, you can listen to their sophomore album Where I Should End here.
Check out their merch store for some aesthetically pleasing stocking fillers like this stunning scarf.
Ailbhe Reddy has a talent for crafting intensely moving alt-folk tunes. On her debut album Personal History, the Irish artist blurs the boundaries between personal and universal experiences to strike emotional chords.
You can check out her stunning merch line that includes pieces like this long-sleeved shirt here. Stream Personal History here, and keep an eye out for her upcoming album Endless Affair in 2023.
This Kerry-based alternative folk singer was named one of RTÉ’s Rising Irish Stars of 2018 and his most recent release The Great Irish Famine has been nominated for the 2022 Irish Folk Awards You can cop the “Cardinal Red” sweatshirt here.
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This Dublin-based alternative band have gone from strength to strength since the release of their first album In Waiting. You can listen to their latest release Leave The Light On here. Check out their website for more gorgeous gift options like this scarf designed by Ruan van Vliet.
This folk-pop singer from Dublin has the most fun and aesthetically pleasing website I’ve ever seen. And her music is even better – you’ll be happy to know her debut album Woman on the Internet has irresistible bops that you can stream here. Check out other gorgeous Orla Gartland merch on her online shop.
Merging Irish with English, satire with socially conscious lyrics, and reality with absurdity, if you haven’t checked out KNEECAP you definitely should. As for their merch? Perfect for any KNEECAP fan, this tote bag will spell out your priorities as you bop around town listening to Get Your Brits Out. Check out their siopa for some more jumpers, t-shirts and stickers full of Irish pride.
A self-described “Global Celebrity Teen Pop Sensation From Ireland”, CMAT has quickly become a staple of Irish youth culture. Her merch store is the perfect mix of bubble-gum pop, western and retro. You can cop the “I Wanna Be A Cowboy Baby!” t-shirt here.
Malaki whose name means ‘messenger’ – is one of Ireland’s most prolific and fast-rising rappers. Following a busy festival season and a highly-acclaimed Irish tour, we’re expecting big things from him next year. You can grab the “Dublin’s Burning” t-shirt here.
Kojaque’s second album Town’s Dead was the best-selling album on vinyl in Ireland last July, so you know what you’re buying is already top quality. Grab a copy for a mate for Christmas or bop over to the Cabra-based rapper’s website for more bits like this classic dad hat.
This alternative Dublin band released their debut album Small Talk last year to much acclaim and will be playing in various venues around Ireland pre-Christmas if you fancy giving someone an early present. You can grab tickets for their tour here or check out their merch store for plenty of stocking fillers including this gorgeous print.
To coincide with the release of her newest album Smiling Like An Idiot, Sorcha Richardson has released a new merch collection with plenty of different bundle options. Our favourite has to be the CD and Colouring Book Bundle.
Soft Boy Records is an Irish company that represents Kojaque, Kean Kavanagh and Luka Palm just to name a few. Check out their online shop with merch from plenty of Irish artists here.
With world tours, a cult following and an enduring influence that’s hard to quantify, EDEN is one of Ireland’s most successful musical exports. His merch shop is perfect even for the most casual of fans, with practical yet stylish bits such as the ICYMI tee.
After releasing their debut EP girls my age, Cruel Sister has gradually gained more recognition as one of Ireland’s new acts to watch. With only a few releases under her belt, there’s plenty of space for Cruel Sister to experiment as she establishes herself as one of the local scene’s most exciting artists. You can check out her merch store here.
Following the release of their latest projects Must Be Nice and Believe In Love, 49th and Main will be playing in various venues around Ireland in the weeks leading up to Christmas if you fancy giving someone an early present or want to treat yourself to a night out. Alternatively, you can check out their merch store for some cosy bits such as their “I Can’t Believe” hoodies designed by Stephen Heffernan.
In April, James Vincent McMorrow announced that he would be releasing not one but two albums this year: The Less I Knew (which dropped in June) and Heavyweight Champion of Dublin 8 which has yet to be released. While you wait for more music from the Malahide singer-songwriter, you can order The Less I Knew on vinyl from his merch store here.
NewDad is an Irish Indie rock band whose music has been compared to The Cure, Beabadoobee, and Just Mustard by NME magazine. Based in Galway, you can check out their latest release Ladybird here. If you really love the song you can cop this t-shirt inspired by the single on their website.
Gemma Dunleavy is an unstoppable force, combining Dublin history, colloquialisms and stories with irresistible hooks and beats to create her own unique legacy in Irish music. You can stream the remixes of Up De Flats here. Whether you’re from the flats or simply love Dunleavy’s work, you can cop your very own ‘Up De Flats’ t-shirt here. Keep an eye out for a very special drop on Gemma’s merch store soon.
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