Decemberists frontman Colin Meloy wrote the jaunty “Everything Is Awful” just after the 2016 presidential election. He would have preferred it had a shorter shelf life.

“It reflected my feelings at the time,” he says. “Little did I know that it would only get worse.”

The track appeared on the band’s most recent album, 2018’s I’ll Be Your Girl, and attained another layer of meaning in 2020 given…well, everything. Meloy admits to feeling conflicted about the song, acknowledging that, as a cisgender white male, “everything is not as awful for me as it is for so many other communities.”

Still: It’s a snappy phrase to put on a face mask.

Best Awfulness

The two-ply cotton mask—available for $12 on the band’s website—features a filter slot and is available in black, blue, charcoal or green, with a portion of the net profits going to the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund, which assists musicians and music industry workers affected by the pandemic.

“I felt a bit uncertain about appearing to take advantage of the crisis, even for a cause,” Meloy says. “But something about a mask made it more on the nose—and also lifesaving!”

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