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. The term is an example of use of the suffix "-core". 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". 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". 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." Coming from the hardcore punk scene, solo artist Harm Wülf put out his album "Hijrah" August 26, 2016 on Deathwish Inc and has been referenced as being within the genre.
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The term is still current in pop culture. Lana Del Rey's musical style has been described as "Hollywood sadcore". In regard to her song, "Blue Jeans", MTV journalist Nicole James noted the neologism is a "music buzz word" floating around the music blogosphere.