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On this week’s Talkhouse Podcast we’ve got a pair of women who were prominent in the ‘90s alternative rock scene, and whose bands followed similar paths: Kay Hanley of Letters to Cleo and Louise Post of Veruca Salt.
Our producer Myron Kaplan has been pushing to have Hanley as a guest for ages, and of course singing the praises of both Letters to Cleo and Hanley’s solo work—plus letting me know that Hanley has had an incredible second musical career writing for children’s TV shows, including popular shows like Doc McStuffins, for which she won a Peabody Award. Hanley also won a songwriting Emmy for her work on last year’s animated series We The People. She’s still rocking in Letters to Cleo, too, though the band was broken up for a good long while there—now they get together on occasion to make some noise and play a few shows every November. Sounds nice to me. Check out the song “Back to Nebraska“ right here.
The other half of today’s conversation is Louise Post, who was the co-frontperson of another ‘90s alt-rock titan, Veruca Salt. Together with her songwriting partner Nina Gordon, Post caused a huge stir back then, coming out of the gate (the gate being Chicago) with a ton of buzz and an incredible single called “Seether.” As you’ll hear in this conversation, the machinations of the music biz caused some real strife, and Gordon left the band. Post soldiered on with some great Veruca Salt music before things fizzled, but there’s a happy ending: Gordon returned in 2015 with the rest of the original lineup. And even better: Post has just released a firecracker of a solo album called Sleepwalker, which sounds grown up but still rocking in all the right ways. Check out “What About.”
In this chat, Post and Hanley talk about the early days and seeing each other play; Hanley gushes over Post’s new record, and they talk about living through that moment in the ‘90s alt-rock world when women were undeniably in the driver’s seat. Enjoy.
Thanks for listening to the Talkhouse Podcast, and thanks to Kay Hanley and Louise Post for chatting. If you liked what you heard, please follow Talkhouse on your favorite podcasting platform, and check out all the written goodness on this very website. This episode was produced by this week’s special guest host Myron Kaplan, and the Talkhouse theme is composed and performed by the Range. See you next time!
(Photo Credit: left, Alison Dyer; right, Justine Ungaro; Edited by: Keenan Kush.)