The self-titled debut release from the New York City based quartet Pagoda, embraces indie-folk dimensions and merges it with alternative rock gales. Lead singer Michael Pitt’s vocal textures and shapes are so reminiscent of Kurt Cobain that it is eerie, as he straddles music chords elating of grunge elements permeating of chanting spells familiar from Blind Melon and Marcy Playground. The lyrics are cryptic and yet relatable to conflicts, as in “Lesson Learned” when Pitt drones, “Head full of these useless questions/ I can’t redeem my old temptation/ Oh medicate me to ease my pain/ Love me, know that I’m insane/ Oh hate me, but use me to your liking.”
Pitt’s songs speak about internal struggles, yet refuses to sugarcoat the rage but rather holds the wounds openly in all its bareness. His exploration of the human soul began during his acting years when he played the part of a troubled teen in such indie films as Last Days, Bully, Murder By Numbers, and The Dreamers. Actor turned musician, Pitt’s songwriting will bravely hit you where it matters.