Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter Jesse Jo Stark has released her new single ”so bad” along with a blazing hot music video. Both the song and the video are etched with a fierce sensuality and bold style indicative of Stark, who is honest and raw in all of her work.
“so bad” was co-produced by Michael Harris (HAIM, Angel Olsen) and Jesse Rutherford (The Neighbourhood), whose vocals are also featured in the track. Buttery smooth and with an atmospheric sound, the tune is insatiably catchy and reverberates with an underlying edginess. Thematically, it’s a single that acknowledges the duality of good and bad, and that sometimes we knowingly choose what we want versus what is actually good for us.
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results,” notes Stark. “‘so bad’ is about the vicious cycle of going after something you want, even though you know it’s bad for you.”
Directed by Ramez Silyan (Everybody’s Everything), the accompanying music video features cameos from various people in Stark’s life including her father, Richard Stark (Chrome Hearts), Steve Jones (Sex Pistols), Luka Sabbat,and Rutherford. In it, we watch Stark take revenge on the people who hurt her brother (having returned home missing an eye). In a Tarantino/Robert Rodriguez-esque style, Stark embarks on a visceral and action-packed rampage, equipped with great one-liners (“Eye for an eye / Dead even”) and vigilante justice. Little nods to the aforementioned film makers can be found throughout the video, particularly from Tarantino’s Kill Bill saga — from a handwritten list on a notebook to a tracking shot of a woman in a skirt holding a keychain that resembles a weapon used against the Bride/Black Mamba (Uma Thurman).
“so bad” is the lead single for Stark’s upcoming new album, DOOMED, out Sept. 21. The 11-track album is one of Stark’s most personal pieces of work to date, encompassing all the various shades and contrasting elements found within an individual from the intimate to the obscure.
“The album touches on the duality of life like love and pain, lightness and darkness, glamour and horror,” Stark says. “I don’t think we are all just one thing, and so for this, I offer all of me.”
Having been steeped in a hard-working artistic background (her father founding the American brand Chrome Hearts), Stark is a multi-dimensional artist, spending her time not just making music, but also establishing a foothold as a designer, crafting custom items for musicians including Post Malone, Orville Peck, and Yungblud. Utilizing her talents and cross-pollinating between fashion and music, Stark founded her own merch company, Deadly Doll (named for one of her songs), finding ways to push boundaries in both spaces.
Stark started her musical journey at a young age, writing her first song at age 7 and forming her first band by 11. Since 2017, she has released singles as a solo artist and has opened for the likes of Guns N’ Roses and Jane’s Addiction and toured with The Heavy. Last year, French fashion house Balmain and Channel 4 enlisted her to star in its five-part episodic drama “Fracture,” for which Stark wrote original music for.
Words: Patti Sanchez
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