Jesse Jo Stark may be this year’s darling of moody, ethereal rock, but that’s not her only identity. She’s also daughter to one of the pioneering couples in the LA fashion industry, Laurie Lynn and Richard Stark, and best friend to some of Hollywood’s current “it” girls, such as Bella Hadid. Somehow, amidst helping her parents run their iconic Chrome Hearts clothing line and cultivating a misty Hollywood goth aesthetic, Stark has found the time to create some hauntingly beautiful music that is sure to flutter even the blackest of hearts. The 26-year-old singer-songwriter cites influences bequeathed to her by her parents, like Merle Haggard and Fleetwood Mac, and most especially Cher, who just so happens to be her godmother.
With an album’s worth of songs that she has been releasing in small bites, Stark has been making the rounds of LA’s favorite venues, including The Echo, The Fonda, and most recently, The Roxy, where GUM had the privilege of seeing her in action. Opening for indie rockers Susto, she took the stage under the blue and red lights, looking demurely out at the audience with heavily lidded bedroom eyes.
Stark maintained a faraway look as she crooned her way through “Deadly Doll,” a haunting ballad that invokes visions of a midnight drive up the coast, with black waves of sound crashing against the shore. “Down Your Drain” showcased out a edgier side of Stark’s sound, as she slinked across the stage growling, “Your twisted spell has driven me sane / Oo you make me wanna be the one to take a slip on down your drain.” This dichotomy between dreamy and raunchy persisted throughout her short set, ending with a devilish rock song in which Stark implored, “Please rot away with me.”
Regardless of her pedigree or her rampant social media following, this girl has the raw talent of a true artist, and this alone is enough to garner her some much-deserved attention. From the sounds of her yet unreleased material, we’ve got some serious goods in store for us, and we’re more than ready to eat them up.