“Deep cut” meaning: Here’s the 4 different things that “Deep cut” means

Have you ever been listening to the review of a critic and heard them describe something as “deep cut”? For most of us, this seems like a term that doesn’t mean much. But actually, “deep cut” can have a strong and impactful meaning.

In this article, I want to look at what “deep cut” means in music, obscure work, emotion, and the literal meaning. The rough meaning remains the same, no matter the context.

What does “deep cut” mean?

Deep cut means something either obscure and niche or intensely emotional. The name comes from the fact it cuts deep into the mind – either of the artist or the consumer. 

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“Deep cut” in music

In the world of music, a “deep cut” is a song rarely played on the radio and often isn’t even on the albums you can buy in most shops.

Most of the public, even those familiar with the artist in question, will seldom be aware of any of their “deep cuts”. In music, a “cut” is a slang term for a song. You’d be surprised how many of the musicians you listen to have “deep cuts”.

Often, musicians will have nothing financial to gain from “deep cuts”.

Why do artists release “deep cuts”?

This does lead to the big question of “why do they do it?”. If there is no money to be made, what is the point of a deep cut?

Radios and record stores will often have strict rules about the kinds of things they can sell. If an album covers some controversial topics or uses language some would deem taboo, they won’t play or sell the album as it would give them a bad reputation.

“deep cuts” allow artists to express themselves and present the messages they want to get across, not just what their managers want. Musicians often enter the industry because they wish to express themselves through music. Deep cuts are a crucial way for them to do this.

“Deep cut” can also refer to obscure works

Outside of music, other things can be “deep cut” too, such as films, books, artwork.

Usually, when something is “deep cut”, it’s not known by the vast majority of the public, and it’s only known by connoisseurs, experts in the industry of the creator in question.

Knowing about someone’s “deep cut” art, books, or films can either be a way of showing off and proving that you really know what you’re talking about. But be careful, as it can also make you appear pompous and looking for validation.

“Deep cut” can mean emotional

You might also sometimes hear an interview described as “deep cut”. A great example of this would be the recent Meghan and Harry interview with Oprah.

In this context, “deep cut” means highly emotional. In a “deep cut” interview, you delve deep into the emotions that people feel and try to root out the underlying causes of those emotions.

They can be a great way of getting to know people better. But as Meghan has shown, you need to be careful as a “deep cut” interview can make you come across as overly emotional and in denial of the privilege, you may have.

“Deep cut” can just be a literal description

And finally, “deep cut” can be talking about a deep physical cut. For example, suppose you’re studying geology. In that case, you might describe a “deep cut” in rocks formed by the sudden disappearance of water.

In biology, a “deep cut” could refer to a super painful wound on a person. This can be in both medicine or in just learning about the human body – “You will need to make a deep cut to see what’s inside the heart”.

If you’re a gardener, you might describe certain vegetable beds as “deep cut”.

8 examples of how to use “deep cut” in a sentence

“In January 2008 the Armed Forces Minister, Bob Ainsworth MP, announced that Deepcut barracks in Surrey would be closing in 2013 and its land would be sold off for residential development.”

“A Review of the Circumstances Surrounding the Deaths of Four Soldiers at Princess Royal Barracks, Deepcut Between 1995 and 2002”

“but a 35 – megaton explosion would be required to blast the deep cut through the Continental Divide”.

“That there is a large and deep cut just above said station , commencing about one hundred feet above the station office and extending a long distance up the track.”

“Removal of the incrustation rendered more apparent a depression running from this deep cut at the right with something of a curve up to the middle mark of the F.”

“conducted off through rected labor will relieve them of undue moisture a deep cut made in the upland.”

“That level, however, with which it reaches the Truando (or other pass—if one more favorable is found), should be maintained to and through the great Tunnel and the deep cut at its west end.”

“Does any one really Surface drains frequently rendered it difficult to believe , that in a plant like Indian corn , with deep cut well.”

8 alternatives to “Deep Cut”

If, for whatever reason, you don’t wish to use the term “deep cut”, there are plenty of alternatives you can use instead.

  1. Emotional 
  2. Powerful 
  3. Controversial 
  4. Niche 
  5. Little Known 
  6. Uncommon 
  7. Specialised 
  8. Known only to the biggest fans 

However, in my view, none of the above have the same power as “deep cut”. None of them can portray the emotion behind “deep cut” works of music or art. 

When something is “deep cut”, it’s not just niche, it’s a true reflection of how the artist feels when they created it. 


“Deep Cut” can have several different meanings. When we’re talking about music, a “deep cut” is a song that’s not generally on the most popular albums and can’t usually be played on the radio. But they are a great reflection of what’s really in the singers’ minds. 

A film, artwork, or book can also be described as “deep cut” when it’s not known to most of the public but is known to those who know the artist best. And an interview can also be “deep cut” if it’s highly emotional. 

The term “deep cut” is an incredibly impactful phrase. It can be used to emphasise the emotions that someone has put into a piece- be that a song, story, or picture.