The opening track of What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World
, this song derisively portrays a singer trapped in his creation by his fans, despite his desire to evolve. It's followed later on the album by "Anti-Summersong
," which finds vocalist Colin Melroy referencing previous Decemberists tunes. "Those two songs were very self-reflexive," Meloy told The Guardian
. "It was right after we'd finished touring and I was feeling almost embittered, and wanting to make those kind of statements. It felt therapeutic to me. The songs were about songs, about songwriting."