We caught up with the 19-year-old singer-songwriter to discuss her latest single, her creative process, and her relationship with God.
Maude Latour crafts pop songs that are nothing short of mesmerizing.
The 19-year-old singer-songwriter is currently based out of New York––but after growing up in several different countries, she's cultivated a larger-than-life curiosity about the world that shines through her music, making for a dazzling technicolor pop sound that feels intimate and expansive at the same time.
Be careful not to let the seemingly feel-good sensibility of Maude Latour's airy songs fool you; her lyrics tend to explore heady topics with writing that ranges from environmentally-conscious poetic monologues to philosophical musings on religion and the metaphysical world. It may seem like a lot to pack into tracks that run between three and four minutes long, but the emerging songwriter manages to make it look and sound effortless.
In the same vein as Lorde, Latour combines celestial soundscapes and intricately arranged melodies with otherworldly digital flourishes, threaded together by her arresting vocals and topped off with a glossy, well-produced sheen. The mood she evokes, though, is distinctly her own––both playful and nostalgic––and made through her vivid storytelling and introspective meditations that complicate the usual coming-of-age narratives seen in contemporary pop.
"Starsick" is the most recent single in a string of infectious pop songs from the artist, following previous tracks "Plans" and "Superfruit." The accompanying visuals for "Starsick" more closely resemble a short film, and so we caught up with Latour to discuss her inspiration for the video, her aesthetic vision, and her relationship with religion.
You can watch the video for "Starsick" and read our Q+A with Maude Latour below.
Describe the process of making the video for "Starsick."
I started making the video by carrying around a camera for a week (a typical week of summer in New York), which is my favorite thing on the absolute entire planet. My friends and I in Central Park, fire escapes (okay, people, be safe though—fire escapes are dangerous), performing live, staying up all night with Morgan during sleepovers. It all just came about so naturally and in such a beautiful way. Everything is filmed by my friends in our natural habitat.
How did it feel to see the finished result?
When I saw the final product, I could not believe how true it was to the vision. It has been a dream of mine to put out a video like this.
"Starsick" opens with a seemingly stream-of-consciousness monologue about climate change, dreams of becoming the president, and existential questions about the world at large. Can you elaborate on your inspiration to deliver your thoughts in this way and how they tie into the song's message?
My mind kind of works in monologue poetry like that. My dreams, memories, and recollections of eras are formed in monologues. That's how I write lyrics as well. I always used to think the "afterlife" was some sort of witnessing of the entire monologue montage of your life. It is my most transcendent state.
How do this song and video compare to your last two singles—"Plans" and "Superfruit"—in terms of the creative process behind it?
Well, I think "Starsick" is the natural progression, sonically, from the last two songs. It provides a deeper view into this world I'm building, while complementing the other baroque pop styles well. I try not to take myself too seriously, and I love how "Superfruit"'s video is comedic and true to my daily life at school (because that's where I wrote the song). "Plans" was more of a tribute to making the song beautiful with my friends, the way we used to sing together. But for the "Starsick" video I wanted it to encapsulate the emotional significance of this song to me. I was ready to open up in the video about the world I'm trying to build and beginning to execute this philosophy I'm working on in my life.
You mentioned that you wrote this song as a birthday present to your friend Morgan, who I believe appears in the video. How did you decide to create a birthday gift in the form of a song and a video?
Yes! Morgan is in the video. Well, I was using romance and drama as my inspiration most of the time when writing. But I started trying to describe this friendship, which is one of the most important forces in my life, and started writing this song as a song to her. I decided it because I needed to get her a birthday present, and I knew I needed to sing about this, making music that I actually care about.
Your lyrics in "Starsick" touch on birthdays and growing up. Would you describe this as a coming-of-age song?
I think it's more of a manifestation of being afraid of growing up. I have always had this guilt about it since childhood, hence the "swear I didn't mean to." I definitely think it's a coming-of-age moment, accepting growing up and, in the process, being freer.
Did you set out with a deliberate aesthetic vision when making the video or did it happen more naturally?
It definitely happened naturally! Ooooo is there an aesthetic? I had no idea omg, honored. lol. Well, Ella Sinskey, who put the video together, has a beautiful cinematic style to her work, and her editing really brought it to life.
Where did you find the vintage-looking clips used throughout the visuals? What was your inspiration behind incorporating them?
This was all Ella's brilliant research and extensive collection. I wanted it to be a montage of the larger than life images in the poem... these huge meta ideas, the timeless clips are simply adding to the nostalgia of growing up and time moving.
You mention "God" a few times in your song and your intro. How would you describe your relationship with religion?
I explore religion fluidly, and think of it close to interchangeably with pure spirituality. I am still exploring my relationship with religion, and it is ever-changing. I have been studying different religions and their overlap, as well as the essential elements of all religion and spirituality. I am looking forward to developing my relationship with my thoughts, soul, existence, and the universe. I think there's an understandable misconception of organized religion that somehow hasn't translated to my generation, and I think my generation has the power to find a universal spirituality (that can be interpreted differently for different people) that can lead us to a more peaceful world. This song was created during a really intense period of spirituality and meditation for me; that's why it's so incredibly special to me. It is born out of one of the most important eras of my life.
Bandcamp is waiving revenue shares today, and you should support POC artists.
Today is another Bandcamp Friday, meaning until midnight tonight, the platform will be waiving revenue shares and letting artists take 100 percent of profits.
Now more than ever, as Black Lives Matter protests occur around the world, it's extremely important to lift marginalized voices. The music industry has repeatedly erased Black voices throughout history, despite the fact that most mainstream genres were invented by Black people.
The new video explores the pain of feeling utterly helpless.
London-based alt-pop artist Ebony Buckle has just unveiled the music video for her single, "Ghost."
EBONY BUCKLE - GHOST (Official Video) youtu.be