The next time you find yourself awake at an ungodly hour, fingers frantically refreshing feeds, poised to snatch at a link to your ride-or-die’s latest merch drop, here’s a little something to keep in mind before you check out your basket (which you may or may not be able to afford): the government made you do it. Since the UK government announced that face masks would be a must-wear for all shops and public transport last month, the music industry has nobly risen up and said, “Hey, we’ve got you sorted.”
Artists both great and small, dead and alive, have united to bring us a new wave of face mask merch – at last, the kind of merch we can hold our head up high and say we truly needed. You can rest easy knowing through charity proceedings, or giving a helping hand to your favourite independent artists, you have helped the industry you love weather the storm – and to top it all off, the only glares you’ll be getting in supermarkets will be those of envy. So cover your mouths (and noses, don’t forget) with the finest masks we’ve picked out to rep your excellent taste in music.
YAEJI – Price: $15
Yaeji was way ahead of the curve dropping these masks on Yaeji-Mart way back in 2018 after the release of her ambient hip-hop and house-infused EP, ‘EP2”. These masks are a bona fide collectors item which are a government-sanctioned must-have, so you might as well get both, right?
DOMINIC FIKE – Price: $20
These Dominic Fike masks are fresh off the press to celebrate his long-awaited debut record ‘What Could Possibly Go Wrong?’. If rap and indie-pop hybrids are your thing, make sure everyone on the tube knows you know where it’s at while you listen to the free download he’s throwing in with these.
SOFI TUKKER – Price: $12
We expect nothing less than these criminally adorable face masks from electronic duo Sofi Tukker. The pair have been saving our lives with their DJ sets live streamed on Instagram which they have been doing every day – yes, every day – since lockdown. And now they’re saving our lives – quite literally – once more, with these tie-dyed beauties.
LIL PEEP – Price: $10
Lil Peep is somehow busier than ever. Despite passing away in 2017, his death hasn’t interfered with continuing to build his legacy. Dropping his 2016 mixtape ‘Crybaby’ officially in 2020, his estate prophetically released these masks repping the original artwork for Peep fans who have been invested since day one.
AMINÉ – Price: $17
Oh, so you think you’ve got taste? Prove you’re ten steps ahead with Aminé’s latest (and gloriously expansive) merch drop marking the release of his latest record ‘Limbo’, a vibrant hybrid of classic hip-hop beats and Aminé’s instinct for infectious delivery. He’s throwing an album download into the mix, too, so you can be reminded on the go that the record you’re repping is fire.
STARCRAWLER – Price: $15
Rock misfits Starcrawler bask in chaos, but even these typically blood-soaked, rafter-climbing live performers know that if we want to get back to seeing their shows, their masks are going to be a must.
SWINDLE – Price: £10
Swindle’s jazz and funk-infused sound is, in itself, a statement. The magnitude of his 2019 record ‘No More Normal’ has proved that he is a visionary in more ways than one, and the statement these masks make rings true now more than ever.
MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE – Price: $14.99
What’s that sound? It’s your emo heart beating, of course. These masks were the brainchild of Lauren Valencia, manager of the band who had sadly passed away last year. The band say, on their website: “We had these masks made to keep you dust-free in the desert, a show that never happened, never will, a protection that then seemed timeworn. And here we are, with these masks, as though Lauren was prescient or we were unknowingly waiting for the right time…” All proceeds from the sale of these masks are going towards keeping their crew afloat during these rough times for the live entertainment industry.
REX ORANGE COUNTY – Price: $15
These Rex Orange County face masks are here to bring a dash of colour and brilliance to your day, happy in the knowledge that 15% of proceeds will be donated to MusiCares, an emergency fund for struggling artists and workers in the music industry who have been impacted by Covid-19.
LOGIC – Price: $15 each
Much like his array of collaborators, including Eminem, Wiz Khalifa and Will Smith, Logic has spoiled us for choice with these masks celebrating his 2019 record tour ‘Confessions of a Dangerous Mind’.
LADY GAGA – Price: $15
Lady Gaga dared to grace us with ‘Chromatica’ in the height of lockdown when we needed it most. Mother Monster takes care of us once again with these gloriously garish masks in homage to her track “Sour Candy” with BLACKPINK. (Pssst, they’re limited edition, so get on it quick!)
BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE – Price: €9.90
While the design of Brian Jonestown Massacre’s mask is not necessarily promoting the health advice we’d recommend, they know exactly how to combat Covid-19 and take on the world while they’re at it.
THE WEEKND – Price: $15
When people started to go by the ‘live fast die young’ mantra, a global pandemic wasn’t exactly what they had in mind. Even The Weeknd and his reckless indulgences can be reigned in for a little while, and in the meantime, you have these sleek masks with 100% of all profits going to MusiCares’ relief fund.
BILLIE EILISH – Price: £15
One thing’s for sure, with this Blohsh mask, everyone will be able to see you coming from a mile off. In Billie Eilish’s signature neon-green, you’re bound to catch some double-takes – and, let’s be honest, some nods of approval while you’re at it. Best of all, 100% of the profits from these masks will go to Direct Relief and their Covid-19 efforts.
KESHA – Price: $14.99
Remember when Kesha released “Die Young” way back when? *Sigh*, it just doesn’t hit the same these days. But luckily, Kesha is finding new ways to – as you can see – raise hell, with these masks to mark the release of her 2020 record ‘High Road’. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Crew Nation Global Relief Fund.