Maude Latour has a way with words. The 21-year-old singer, songwriter and current philosophy student at Columbia University has a knack for crafting the kind of stories that are at once both universal and specific -- the hallmark of a born storyteller.
"Okay my room is such a mess/But I swear I tried my best/Just to clear my head/While my life's blowing up," she sings on new song "Clean" off her forthcoming EP, Strangers Forever, out via Warner Records October 29th. The upbeat, deliciously catchy alt-pop track about getting over an ex encapsulates Latour's strengths in just two minutes and thirty seconds: vividly relatable lyrics that take quick, thoughtful dips into existential territory, leaving the listener feeling both validated and intrigued. In other words, Latour's an artist both for and of her generation -- introspective and pensive with a sense of humor and a love for earworm melodies.
"The written word is an important part of my life philosophy and religion," says Latour, who grew up between London, Hong Kong and Sweden before finally settling down in New York City. "I feel I'm in like some discourse with it always, some grand relationship with writing things down." Her songs, she says, are like journal entries in that they're "a declaration that I'm human, that I'm alive."
It's that dedication to self-excavation that's earned Latour an equally devoted fanbase -- she's amassed nearly 30 million streams on Spotify alone, and her popular social media accounts demonstrate her ability to connect with others in an inspiring, authentic way. "My music's entire purpose is to teach you to be introspective, self-actualize, and find transcendence on this earth," Latour once told fans on TikTok.
If that sounds a bit mystical, it's because it is. Latour describes her connection with her fanbase as "a little otherworldly," bolstered by the fact that to date she's responded to every DM and comment she's ever received. During the pandemic, she's shared "the inside of soul" during intimate Instagram Lives, asking her fans the kinds of questions usually reserved for therapy, wading into the deep emotional waters of their psyches as secrets are confessed and wild stories revealed.
"There's always just been a greater philosophy to all of it," Latour says. "And it's been the philosophy I've had since I was a five year old kid, this exuberance and joy of living. I do think I look for words to talk about some divine thing. And I think people really come to heal loneliness."
When in-person gatherings are possible, the artist holds meet ups with fans in different cities that lead to even greater spiritual revelation. "Tons of people will come, and it feels like a religious gathering," she says. "We leave on some frequency that we're much more similar than different, and that small talk is boring and that loneliness is crazy, and we're trapped alone in our minds, and that's the paradox of existence, and it's the wildest thing in the world."
Ultimately, though, it all comes back to the music -- the connecting glue that holds all the pieces together. "There's so many contradictions," Latour says of the reality we live in. "And yet, there's these moments of connection when we all realize it's the same motherfucking molecules. Those moments are very accessible in my world, and I think it's my life's mission to bring them to part of daily life. The shows are magical, and the breakup songs? These songs cure breakups. My sister was just crying over a boy yesterday and I said, "Go stream 'Furniture.'" And then she did it, and she was like, "Thank you, Maude." They cure breakups. They cured my breakups. It's a little bit crazy."