"Had Marissa Paternoster emerged in my era she would be a household name by now. Trouble is, the world is currently not very kind to guitar heroes. In favour instead are the ten a penny stage schooled pop stars. Nevertheless, Marissa’s talents are such that she endures and indeed continues to flourish despite our stubborn idiocracy. She is a true alt treasure. Ignore her at your peril." – Shirley Manson (Garbage)
After a handful of releases under the moniker Noun, Peace Meter is the first ever recording to be released under Paternoster's name, a deliberate choice making it stand on its own as a unique statement from the prolific guitarist.
Marissa Paternoster began writing Peace Meter immediately after arriving home from a west coast tour cut short due to COVID. Alone in her deceased grandmother's empty home, Paternoster sent the skeleton of a song to Andy Gibbs from the metal band THOU with the hopes that he might be able to extrapolate on the original idea. Andy sent his accompaniment back, and that process continued for the bulk of the first wave of quarantine.
As the songs developed, Paternoster decided to include two other musicians whom she admired: long time friend Shanna Polley of the NYC-based band Snakeskin on backup vocals, and the cellist Kate Wakefield from the Cincinnati-based band Lung. All parties recorded their parts within their respective homes. Once the songs seemed fully realized, they were mixed by Eric Bennett, one of Marissa's oldest friends and closest collaborators, who was also quarantined at home alongside his mixing studio.
This LP is the final project of that collaboration, between four US states, a year of isolation, panic, and uncertainty - all the while never writing together in the flesh.
Album opener "White Dove" - streaming now across all digital platforms - is a very simple song, both in structure and content, about observing something or someone you love endure pain and trauma. The entire song is basically two major chords, played over and over, a tonal mantra. Sonically, dynamics guide this song through its high peaks and low valleys, hauling the listener up to the summit within the refrain of the last chorus.