Ears Wide Open: Yungatita

Yungatita (Oscar Celis)

The brainchild of East L.A.’s Valentina Zapata, Yungatita — who previously released a 2020 solo EP with a groovy, low-fi, retro sound titled “Over You” — has returned with a full band and three singles in preparation for their slacker-pop debut LP, “Shoelace & a Knot” (out Jan. 3).

To create this new sound, Valentina recruited guitarist and childhood friend Ernie Gutierrez, as well as keyboardist/guitarist Gil Simo, bassist David Lopez, and drummer Christian Gurrola, whom Zapata met while playing keyboard on tour for fellow Latino artist Katzu Oso.

Yungatita’s songs contain motifs of escapism and recklessness, which may be the result of a difficult childhood.

“Armchair” is a roller-coaster of emotion. Opening with a tranquil guitar followed by angsty upbeat verses into literal screaming choruses, the song feels like it would do well in the ’90s cult classic “My So-Called Life.”

The second single, “Reckless,” is well balanced with chugging guitar riffs, an exceptionally moody psychedelic breakdowns , and casually sung lyrics full of shocking imagery “Now I’m looking back through that photo stack of broken glass and rings in a sewer / Bloody sleeves stain the future.”

The most recent release, “Whiplash” is pure noise-rock gold paired with cool and confident ’90s Brit-rock-type vocals.

Yungatita, who’s part of the lineup Sunday night at the Novo, will be touring in the spring of 2024, dates to be announced.

||| Watch: The video for “Whiplash”

||| Stream: “Armchair” and “Reckless”

||| Live: Yungatita performs Sunday night at the Novo, opening for SadGirl, Together Pangea, Brainstory and Slater. Tickets.