Words : Eva O’Beirne
New restrictions on the events and entertainment industry in Ireland have been devastating for many artists who had Christmas gigs lined up and cancelled last minute. This holiday season consider buying merch, albums or even tickets for upcoming concerts to help support them through this difficult time.
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.
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 adorable merch line for more pieces like her limited edition breakfast t-shirt (pictured below). Stream “Personal History” here.
This Kerry-based alternative folk singer was named as one of RTÉ’s Rising Irish Stars of 2018 and has most recently appeared on the Tommy Tiernan Show and Other Voices. The remainder of his 2021 Ireland tour has been cancelled but you can support his work through his merch store or by streaming his latest single “Life’s New Haircut”.
At the start of 2021, Dunleavy was one of ten acts chosen by RTÉ 2FM to champion as part of its Rising initiative. Her merch and music is unapologetically full of Dublin culture and inside jokes. You can check out both here.
Pillow Queens are an Irish indie rock band from Dublin who recently announced their Ireland 2022 tour. Get acquainted with their music on vinyl and see if you want to indulge in some concert tickets too (but don’t think about it for too long, they’ve already sold out one of their Vicar Street shows).
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.
The Mary Wallopers
According to their Twitter bio, The Mary Wallopers have “ballads and drink on the brain.” Originally from Dundalk, this folk group have rescheduled their December gig dates for March and April of next year. Tickets for these new dates go on sale Friday at 9am. Browse their Bandcamp for more t-shirts, music and even postcards.
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 winter woolly hat will keep you toasty as you blare “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 will be releasing her debut album in February 2022. Her merch store is the perfect mix of bubble-gum pop and retro and you can check out similar pieces to this cowboy tote bag here. Click here to watch her latest music video “No More Virgos”.
Fontaines D.C. are an Irish post-punk band formed in Dublin in 2017. Nominated for Best Rock Album at the 2021 Grammy Awards, there’s no knowing how massive they’re about to get. You can cop this Guinness inspired sweatshirt here or snatch up a vinyl from their website to expand your collection.
This Dublin-based rapper is currently developing his third album. In the mean time you can get acquainted with both his merch and other music releases. This “Global Warming” tee is a great way to change up your wardrobe.
This alternative and ambient folk singer is a self described “miserable Irish socialist”. Based in Belfast, you can check out his Christmas release from last year on his website along with a delightful selection of funky t-shirts.
Originally from Bray, this three piece band reached number one in the Irish Independent chart with their sophomore album “Awake You Lie”. Their apparel, prints and artwork has beautiful nods to Irish and Celtic culture. You can cop this “Donate A Pint” print here or check out their full store.
This Dublin based quartet’s style fuses heavy metal with Irish folk to create an unforgettable sound. Their December shows in the Olympia Theatre, Limerick and Galway have all been postponed to 2022, so if you’re a fan (or know someone who is) make sure to take a look at their website for exclusive 2021 tour merch. Pre-order their live album here.
Soft Boy Records
With t-shirts as cute as these, how can you not check out Soft Boy Records’ store? 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.
Elsewhere on District: The Ultimate 2021 Christmas Gift Guide