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Maude Latour, a Columbia Student, Makes Existential Pop

Name: Maude Latour

Age: 22

Hometown: New York City

Now lives: In a four-bedroom apartment near Columbia University, with the same four roommates she has lived with since freshman year.

Claim to fame: Ms. Latour is a singer-songwriter whose plush indie pop grapples with impermanence. She writes about composing a letter to her future self, cleaning a bedroom that always gets messy and, on her recent single “Trees,” mourning the loss of her grandmother, whom she searches for in the space between branches. Ms. Latour filmed the song’s music video during her final semester as an undergraduate at Columbia this spring, between classes on Virginia Woolf and the history of philosophy. “I’m majoring in, ultimately as a philosophy major, life being fleeting,” Ms. Latour said.

Big break: A self-described choir kid, Ms. Latour began songwriting at 15 and uploading her music to Spotify at 17. In March 2020, during the early pandemic lockdown, Ms. Latour posted a video of herself singing “One More Weekend,” an upbeat rendering of an early college heartbreak, to TikTok, where it has been viewed more than 455,000 times. (It has more than 28 million streams on Spotify.) In 2021, during her junior year, Ms. Latour was applying to summer jobs when record labels approached her. She signed with Warner Music and released an EP, “Strangers Forever,” last October.

Latest project: Ms. Latour went on a North American tour this spring, squeezing in six shows during spring break and the rest on weekends. Ms. Latour said she cried onstage at Bowery Ballroom in Lower Manhattan, while dedicating her song “Lola” to friends in the audience who are survivors of sexual assault. (“Keep my girls protected/ I’m turned on when I’m respected,” she sings.) “Diderot says you can’t have authentic emotions onstage,” said Ms. Latour, referencing the French philosopher’s “Paradox of the Actor.” “I was like, ‘What?’ All I do is go onstage and feel and bleed out my emotions in front of people.”

Next thing: Later this month, Ms. Latour will play Lollapalooza, her first festival, on the same day as Metallica. “I’m on the same stage as them, so their drum kit and stuff is going to be behind me,” she said. Ms. Latour is also working on an EP she described as a queer coming-of-age set in the “enchanted forest” that is New York City. “The way I feel at the old age of 22 is so much more complicated than when I was 19,” she said. “I’m trying to grow up with my music.”

Borrowed threads: Ms. Latour’s iridescent, Y2K-era stage outfits are a joint effort between herself and her four roommates. The magenta corduroys, rhinestone belt and rust-orange Nike jacket she wore on tour were sourced from her roommates’ closets. Wearing her friends’ clothes helps ease Ms. Latour’s nerves. “I feel hugged by their presence,” she said.

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