Jesse Jo Stark is Being…’so bad’

Above image by Douglass Bazzaro

When we last heard from Jesse Jo Stark (daughter of Chrome Hearts founders Richard and Laurie Lynn Stark, goddaughter of Cher), we were all barreling into the second wave of of COVID in autumn of 2020, and her 29-year-old self was lyrically proclaiming, “The older I get, the more I wanna die young” – from the song titled, not surprisingly, ‘Die Young.’

Since this is not an obituary we’re writing, it hardly needs saying that she is, in fact, still with us – and she has ticked over into her 30s in the meantime. Though judging by her latest single, she hasn’t quite left all of the self-destructive impulses behind just yet. And the sultry, solemn new single ‘so bad’ tells a story of loving someone who is most definitely not good for your general mental and emotional health, and being determined anyway to hold on at all costs.

“if I lose in this race I’ll just cruise right back to LA
with a bruise on my face
dirty shoes and a broken leg”

She borrows a line from the great Albert Einstein to emphasize the sheer madness of it all.

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over,” she observes by way of the exalted German theoretical physicist, “and expecting different results. ‘so bad’ is about the vicious cycle of going after something you want, even though you know it’s bad for you.”

We’ll leave the analysis of such behavior to the experts. But we feel perfectly confident in expressing that the music sets the mood so perfectly, with its mournfully twangy guitars and somber atmospherics providing a fitting context for Jesse Jo’s captivatingly forlorn, echo-drenched vocals. One can easily draw parallels to Lana Del Rey, Karen Elson, and even Nick Cave.

The track is taken from her upcoming and very long awaited debut album DOOMED (her caps, perhaps to emphasize the seriousness of said doom), which will be released this September. “It touches on the duality of life,” she explains, “like love and pain, lightness and darkness, glamour and horror. I don’t think we are all just one thing, and so for this, I offer all of me.”

We most definitely will take it.

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