Sad girls have always been around. Let me clarify—girls with a wide range of emotions that include sadness have always been around. During the height of the pop star dominated early 2000s, sadness was thrown into a shallow petri dish, made to co-exist with delicate piano melodies and ‘you-tore-my-heart-in-two’ lyrics. But this next generation of artists is finding themselves diving straight into a deep pool of melancholy, letting it wash them clean of all doubts, regrets, and beleaguered thoughts. Red Bull Records’ Sad Alex has nearly perfected this budding “sad girl pop” genre ever since bursting onto the scene in 2019. Transforming her emotions into dynamic, bonafide bangers that still feel honest and exposed, her latest single, "sfs", serves as no exception.
Admitting to being “so fucking sad” with a slew of of self-diagnosed neuroses—"I’m a cynical, clinical, cyclical bitch with a love addiction I cannot quit"—Alex dabs at the wound without so much of a wince. Most impressive, however, is not her calm disposition toward self-deprecating vulnerability, but the way she chooses to wield it. Rather than drown her sorrows in a crescendoing ballad, she hits them hard with fat drum kicks and a throbbing bass. Neon vocal chops cut through the saturated production like knives, severing her post-breakup pain from the conversation. This may be a sad girl song, but it sure doesn’t make a girl sad.
Creating her own artwork and visuals on her iPad, Alex is using her platform to not only write relatable anthems for girls everywhere, but to inspire them to take control of their own narrative, whatever it may be. And we can only hope to see more of it in the upcoming year.