Knowing someone is into music always makes shopping for them that bit easier – now we're making it foolproof...
Make sure you’re in tune with that special audiophile in your life this festive season by getting them something that will keep them singing and smiling for months to come.
Why not give the gift of unlimited streaming? Most music lovers worth their salt might already be signed up, but if you know someone who hasn’t taken the plunge – or would just be thankful that you’re footing the bill for their continued ad-free listening pleasure for, say, a year – the Swedish service is doing a nice deal at the moment. Generally Premium will set you back of €9.99 per month, but if you sign up (for the first time) before January 1st, you’ll get the first three months for a mere €0.99 each. It means the gift of a 12-month subscription will cost you €92.88. And you can really forget Tidal or Apple Music – Spotify is still where it’s at right now with an unrivalled library of tunes.
Album cover frame
For those who really like to flaunt their immaculate taste, this 12.5” x 12.5” frame is custom-built to ensure their favourite record is given pride of place in the house. If you can pair it with a rare piece of vinyl or even a copy signed by their favourite musician (maybe a big ask to accomplish before Christmas, although it could already be on their shelf gathering dust), all the better. The Americanflat is yours for £46.12 (€55.23) on Amazon.
An actual album
Unless you moved fast on Black Friday, you’ll be unable to secure a vinyl copy of the album of 2016, Frank Ocean’s minimalist and quite frankly stunning Blonde. There was plenty of other modern masterpieces worthy of your time in what was a vintage year for new releases, so hit up HMV and grab Bon Iver’s 22, A Million (€29), Leonard Cohen’s final record, You Want It Darker (€20.43) or A Seat At The Table by Solange (€21.93), Beyonce’s sister who is finally ready to step out of her sibling’s musical shadow.
For Radiohead fans (and there are quite a few of them out there we gather), you could do worse then heading for their website and picking up a copy of their latest LP, A Moon Shaped Pool. Quite the presentation, for €76 you’ll get a case-bound album (inspired by the albums for 78rpm shellac records in the library of La Fabrique, France, 32 pages of artwork, vinyl, CDs, the download and a piece of a Radiohead master tape used in an actual recording session. You’ll be cutting it a bit fine in terms of delivery times, but it’ll still be an awesome gift in early January.
Or really go all-out and book them up for the full festival experience. The Irish king of the festival circuit is Electric Picnic. Taking place September 1st – 3rd in Stradbally, Co. Laois, general admission tickets are currently on sale for €230. If you’re just after the one act (or are on a budget), the superstar likes of Green Day, Take That, Emeli Sandé, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden are all bound for Ireland in the new year.
Custom-moulded ear plugs
For the avid live music fan in your life, give them proper ear protection by sending in the direction of Hearing Healthcare. They offer custom-moulded plugs for you lugholes that will offer hi-fidelity hearing while ditching any potential damage. The ER20 Standard plugs are perfect for concert goers, clubbers and the musicians themselves. For further information on the current range and all the details, click here.
Shower head wireless speaker
Forget those old FM radios that delivered crumby sound and were suction-stuck to the shower wall (and promptly fell off). Get a little more hi-tech with a shower head that is actually a speaker. This Kohler Moxie gadget pairs wirelessly with Bluetooth-enabled devices and delivers supreme quality when it comes to audio. It works from a range of 32 feet, so you don't need your smartphone, tablet or laptop in the bathroom with you either. The speaker even pops out easily for recharging or to be used generally about your house. Current available at the reduced price of €159 from here.
The ultimate in music recommendations: 1001 Albums To Listen To Before You Die
A massively popular tome that does what it says on the sleeve, Robert Dimery's ultimate guide to popular music's most essential listening has been updated for 2016. Priced at €24.99 from Easons, they're also offering it as part of a 2-for-3 deal so you can pick up a few other pieces while you're at it.
Not part of that deal, but priced at €16.99 from Easons, is Bruce Springsteen's Born To Run. The Boss' long-awaited memoir is the music book of the year and will go down a treat with anyone who was stuffed into Croke Park to catch one of his mammoth summer shows.