Sadcore is a subgenre occasionally identified by music journalists to describe examples of alternative rock characterised by bleak lyrics, downbeat melodies and slower tempos, or alternatively, songs with deceivingly upbeat melodies that are simultaneously characterised by depressive lyrical undertones or imagery. It is a loose definition and does not describe a specific movement or scene. It is categorised by AllMusic's reference guide as music "by and for the depressed".[1] Sadcore is synonymous with the term slowcore, and both share the distinction of often being dismissed as a label by the bands they would describe.

LA Weekly called Charlyn Marshall (a.k.a. Cat Power) the "Queen of Sadcore".[2] In 2006, The News Record used the term to refer to Arab Strap, describing their sound as "a lot like the band's native Scotland: dark, cold, rainy and depressing" as well as "aggressive and somber."[3]

The term is still current in pop culture. Lana Del Rey's musical style has been described as "Hollywood sadcore".[6][7] In regard to her song, "Blue Jeans", MTV journalist Nicole James noted the neologism is a "music buzz word" floating around the music blogosphere.[5]


  1. AllMusic definition
  2. Payne, John (February 13, 2003). "The Queen of Sadcore". LA Weekly. Retrieved September 28, 2016.
  3. "Scottish duo release sadcore album - Arts & Entertainment". Archived from the original on 2008-09-13.
  4. Copsey, Robert (November 23, 2011). "Lana Del Rey: 'People didn't take me seriously with a high voice'". Digital Spy. Hearts Magazines. Retrieved December 20, 2011.
  5. James, Nicole (12 September 2011). "New Video: Lana Del Rey, 'Blue Jeans'". MTV. Viacom. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
  6. James, Nicole. "New Video: Lana Del Rey, 'Blue Jeans'". MTV. Viacom. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
  7. "Lana Del Rey - Biography". MTV. Viacom. Archived from the original on 23 October 2012. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
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