This moody track finds The Neighbourhood vocalist Jesse Rutherford bothered by what his touring lifestyle does to his lover. While he's away living the life of a rock star, she's stuck brooding at home alone.
The tension between Rutherford and his lover is affecting their mental health. On the bridge he repeatedly cries "breaking down," reflecting his fear that they are being pushed to the edge. During that part of the song, The Neighbourhood bring back the same chords and guitar progression they used in the instrumental interlude of "Wiped Out!" That song, the title track of their sophomore album, has a theme of feeling depressed and worn out by life.
The song title does not appear in the lyrics and it's not immediately clear why it's named "softcore." Maybe the title alludes to Rutherford's confession in the first verse that "I'm too consumed with my own life."
The Neigbourhood quintet of Jesse Rutherford, Brandon Fried, Jeremiah Freedman, Zachary Abels and Michael Margott wrote the song along with the track's producer, Lars Stalfors. It finds them dabbling with contemporary sounds as Rutherford mixes his vulnerable lyrics with a continuous drum and trap-pop beat.
The Neighbourhood recorded the song for their 2018 self-titled album. They never released "Softcore" as a single, but in early 2022 it charted throughout Europe after going viral on the social media app TikTok.