Two thousand, three hundred and thirty-nine. That is the exact number of voice notes that Louise Post has sitting in her phone—fragments of songs and melodies that are waiting to become full-fledged future hits. Sometimes the songs will hit her in her sleep, almost like a fever dream. “I keep my phone by my bedside,” she explains, “so if I wake up in the middle of the night, I can sing my song into a voice memo.” Her love affair with words started at age seven when she began writing poetry. By the time she reached college, she’d learned her first two chords on a guitar a friend lent her. That’s when the lyrics started hitting her in her sleep, and after a failed relationship with a musician ex-boyfriend, she found her own magic. “I realized that all the passion, all the artistry, the skill, and the heart of it was all within me,” she says. “I didn’t need to look for it elsewhere. I think that’s when I really became a songwriter…and just claimed it.”
For nearly three decades, Post has remained a part of our collective cultural landscape as co-frontwoman of the legendary Veruca Salt, alongside Nina Gordon. The group has soundtracked so many of our lives, with hits like “Seether” and “Volcano Girls,” amassing a catalog that continues to be rediscovered by the next generation of anthemic rock fans who love layered tracks that embody both badassness and boldness. The stakes have changed now for Post, however. With her first solo debut album, Sleepwalker, she delivers an unbridled level of honesty and vulnerability—arguably the kind that can only come from standing alone. That’s not without some side effects, though.
“I have had moments where I’ve texted Nina and said, ‘Oh my God, I have a photo shoot tomorrow without you. I’m freaking out,’” Post says. “And that’s how I’ve felt during this whole process, like, Where’s my right hand?” The undeniable chemistry between Gordon and Post is what made Veruca Salt so magical. But on Post’s solo debut, she enters some deeply personal territory all her own. The first song on the album, “Queen of the Pirates,” is inspired by her niece who lives with muscular dystrophy, set to the backdrop of the story of the first female pirate in history. Post has always been a master of beautiful metaphors, though here she paints her pictures more seamlessly. “I’ve always written songs that were from my heart, but this feels like the next level of self-acceptance and loving myself,” she adds. “The record definitely feels like it was urgently insisting on being made.”
While there may never be a definitive end to Veruca Salt (nor should there be), Post is coming into her own, on her own. “I think that in some ways this process did set me free, as unnerving as it was at times,” she says in earnest. “I have moments of feeling liberated from a dynamic—as much as I love it—that has defined me to some degree up to this point. The idea of having a catalog of work for Veruca Salt has always been so important to me, and it still is. But it’s now a pretty significant one, and I don’t think that’s my job anymore. My only job is to be true to myself and to be of service in whatever way I can—to humbly be there for other people.”
Photo Credit- Jim Louvau