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Slowcore is a subgenre of alternative rock and indie rock. The music of slowcore artists is generally characterized by bleak lyrics, downbeat melodies, slower tempos and minimalist arrangements. Slowcore is often used interchangeably with the term sadcore.[1][2]


Slowcore is a fusion genre of indie rock and sadcore,[3] characterized by minimal musical backing, played at extremely slow speeds.[4] Slowcore songs feature often feature "depressing lyrics", according to Listverse.[3] Some singer-songwriters who have been labelled slowcore include distinctive and unusual vocalists, such as the Swedish singer Stina Nordenstam, and bands with creative drummers, such as Codeine.[2] Additionally, certain acts may opt for an chamber pop oriented approach such as the Seattle based Carissa's Wierd. and others like Matt Elliott have a more slavic folk-oriented sound.

Further stylistic overlap may be found in late 80s to 90s Emocore and Midwest Emo.

Artists would often take influence from other genres like americana, dream pop and post-rock, often times straddling lines between genres.[5]

Open Tunings often played a rule in the songwriting of slowcore. While not every artist was known to utilize open tunings, their importance to the pieces of bands like Duster should not be diminished.


Early acts such as Galaxie 500 and American Music Club were hugely influential on the genre; however, they are not generally considered slowcore acts. The genre began in the early 1990s as an act of rebellion against the predominant energy and aggression of grunge. The genre is linked to the band Low, who began experimenting by playing quietly and slowly to traditional rock audiences.[2] While other acts with this mentality towards the grunge movement branched into Emo and its subsidiaries, in slowcore, a different sound was spawned entirely.

Though the genre slowly fizzled out of public conscious near the end of the 1990s, slowcore has gained recent popularity due to the spread of the internet. Bands like Duster have reunited because of newfound interest in the genre, and contemporary acts such as Horse Jumper of Love incorporate aspects of the genre into their sound.

The revived interest in slowcore has spawned a new generation of artists such as Giles Corey and Good Night & Good Morning.

Artists associated with the genre include Bluetile Lounge, Duster, Tacoma Radar, Bedhead, early Red House Painters, Spain, Codeine, Pedro the Lion, Idaho, Low,[3] and Rivulets.

See also[edit]

  • Doom metal, a genre of heavy metal that also focuses on slow tempos and pessimistic lyrics
  • Sadcore


  1. ^ AllMusic Guide genre entry for Slowcore
  2. ^ a b c The Sunday Times Culture's Encyclopedia of Modern Music, February 1, 2009
  3. ^ a b c Craigo, Ethan (September 28, 2011). "10 Obscure Fusion Genres". Listverse. Retrieved June 23, 2016.
  4. ^ Pitchfork album review
  5. ^ January 31st, Samuel Rosean; 2019. "The Beginner's Guide To: Slowcore". DrownedInSound. Retrieved 2021-02-23.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)

External links[edit]