yungatita Kicks Off the Year With a Healthy Dose of Slacker Pop in 'Shoelace & A Knot'


After a whirlwind year that included their first tour as a full band, East LA's yungatita, comprised of artist and musician Valentina Zapata, keyboardist and guitarist Gil Simo, bassist David Lopez, guitarist Ernie Gutierrez, and drummer Christian Gurrola, have finally released their debut album, Shoelace & A Knot. The ten-track body of work expertly captures yungatita's affinity for whiplash-inducing realism and high-energy slacker-pop anthems, with consistently engaging, mid-2000s production and instrumentation guaranteeing a good time from start to finish.

The genesis of the name yungatita, as Zapata explains, can be traced back to 2015, when they spent two months studying silversmithing in Mexico. "I needed a whole new start. The name 'yungatita' came to mind, so I went on everything, my Tumblr, my Twitter, etc. I changed it all, and it ended up sticking." Growing up, home life could be tumultuous, and eventually, they'd struggle with issues surrounding childhood trauma and addiction. Because of this, many of Zapata's songs center around themes of escapism and recklessness, all stemming from pent-up angst that they can now analyze from the other side.

The album opener, "Poppy," dreamily ushers the listener into the world of Shoelace & A Knot before dropping them off in the angst-fueled sonic territory of "Reckless." With its chugging guitar riffs, moody psychedelic breakdowns, and casually sung lyrics full of shocking imagery, the band explores a tumultuous and reckless love affair, resulting in both individuals engaging in destructive behavior, leading to consequences and self-reflection.

Moving past the summery "Other" is the captivating "Armchair." Overflowing with explosive vocals, angsty guitar riffs, and lyrics oozing with existentialism, the band explores themes of confinement, frustration, and the struggle for independence. Depicting a person who's had too much to drink and feels trapped and restricted, symbolized by being handcuffed to an armchair, the repeated line, "Get out of my room," suggests a desire for personal space and freedom from external influence. As the instrumental tension builds, the protagonist increasingly feels trapped by someone else's perception and expectations as they express frustration with the rules and constraints imposed on them. They want to break free and regain control of their own life.

Other standout tracks include the power chord-driven "Crack Of Your Jaw" and the deliciously noisy "Whiplash." While the former takes its time to build into a soundscape full of crashing percussion patterns, thrumming bass lines, and warm yet moody guitar riffs, the latter wastes no time catapulting the listener into a chaotic, mosh-pit-inducing cluster of sound. With proper grunge power chords and Zapata's West Coast garage rock indie vocals, this track is the best kind of sonic rollercoaster ride from start to finish.

The album's finale, "Pack It Up," is a rich and reflective finisher that ebbs and flows through phases of softer instrumentals and introspective lyrics and peaks with a volatile cacophony of sound, featuring spacey synths, fierce guitar shredding, gut-punching drums, brooding bass, and Zapata's impassioned vocals. It's a powerful note to end the LP as the lead singer realizes that the best way to find clarity and "let go of the rubble" is to "watch it burn to flames.

yungtita's debut album Shoelace & A Knot shines with its playful production, sweet-sounding garage, skater-punk sound, and extremely amiable vocalist at the helm, making it the perfect listen to brighten any lingering winter gloom.

Listen to Shoelace & A Knot below:



Related Articles

girl in red Marks a New Pop Star-Ready Era With 'I’M DOING IT AGAIN BABY!'

girl in red Marks a New Pop Star-Ready Era With 'I’M DOING IT AGAIN BABY!'

April 15, 2024 'I’M DOING IT AGAIN BABY!' feels like a project built around the sentiments of passion and exploration.
Author: Abby Kenna
pop
Malcom Todd's 'Sweet Boy' Is a Coming of Age Triumph For the Rising Star

Malcom Todd's 'Sweet Boy' Is a Coming of Age Triumph For the Rising Star

April 12, 2024 "Sweet Boy is a reflection of the feelings and inspirations I had in my last year as a teenager. It was a good time."
Author: Alessandra Rincon
Wisp's 'Pandora' Is a Vulnerable, Lush, and Necessary Addition to Shoegaze

Wisp's 'Pandora' Is a Vulnerable, Lush, and Necessary Addition to Shoegaze

April 9, 2024 "I wanted the EP to showcase the complexity of what we all hope to find, even if it's finding ourselves first."
Author: Alessandra Rincon