Pagoda is a post-grunge band from Brooklyn, New York. Its current line-up consists of Michael Pitt as vocalist and guitarist, along with Reece Carr on drums, Willie Paredes on bass, and Chris Hoffman on cello. Their first self-titled album was released February 27, 2007 through Ecstatic Peace. The name Pagoda comes from the Taoist house of worship of the same name. They began recording their sophomore release in March 2009 at Excello Recording Studios in Brooklyn, New York with producer Hugh Pool. In October 2009 they released their second career single entitled "Warzone" on their official Myspace page. Pagoda began as a musical concept of lead singer and guitarist Michael Pitt who was only twenty-one at the time. While working on Gus Van Sant's 2005 film Last Days, Pitt was introduced to Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth who'd signed on to the film as a musical advisor. Van Sant urged Michael to play Moore one of his original songs and Moore was impressed, eventually signing Pitt and Pagoda's then current line-up (which included Jamie Kallend, actor/musician Ryan Donowho and Indigo Ruth-Davis) to his Ecstatic Peace imprint.
The band spent two months recording the record in Milan, Italy with producer Luca Amendolara, in which time more than forty songs were recorded. Ten (including a bonus track) were eventually chosen and Pagoda's eponymous debut album was released in early 2007. However, by the time of the album's release the current Pagoda line-up had dismantled. It was announced through the band's official website that the new line-up included Willy Paredes on bass guitar, Chris Hoffman on cello and Reece Carr on drums.
The line-up entered the studio in March 2009 to record their as of yet untitled sophomore release. Recorded live in the studio by producer Hugh Pool at Excello Recording Studios in Brooklyn, New York, the album marks a departure from the post-grunge freak-out of their debut. On a trip to Morocco, Pitt was introduced to Gnawa music. The Gnawa play deeply hypnotic trance music, marked by low-toned, rhythmic sintir melodies, call and response singing, handclapping and cymbals. This music influenced the sound of the album.