Maude Latour Releases Anthemic EP “001”

V sat down with the bourgeoning pop artist to discuss her lively EP, which explores themes of self-discovery and acceptance

“A big message is ‘Shine bright like a fucking star,’” Maude Latour says confidently of her latest EP 001—grinning ear to ear through Zoom on a rainy Monday morning. After all, the 22-year-old has a lot to smile about. Having recently graduated from Columbia University this Spring, and a deal with Warner Records penned last Summer, Latour is stepping into her own as a musician. “Graduating was really fulfilling and gave me closure to be starting on [music] now,” Latour explains. “I feel ready and really happy to be here.”

Now, with her sights set on the stars, Latour’s latest project 001 proves that she is more than ready for the next chapter of her burgeoning career. Tackling themes of discovery and empowerment, 001 is a sonic and thematic departure for the songstress, whose earlier work focused primarily on heartbreak and the sobering realities of teendom. 

Opening with the full-throttle title track “001,” the 7-track EP is not about love, but rather, an introspective diary of self-acceptance, friendship, and exploration. Latour’s signature bubbly production and vocals shine throughout, with pops of pulsing synths and dreamy riffs splashing the project.

Though 001, in some ways, diverts from the artists prior singles like “Superfruit” and “Strangers Forever,” it is a welcomed step forward for Latour—with all the makings that made her previous projects so catchy, too. 

Below, we caught up with Latour to discuss 001, honing her sound, upcoming tour, and so much more. 

V MAGAZINE: Hi Maude! Thanks for chatting with us today. First, I wanted to ask, where did you start with 001? What were you inspired by and what did you want to convey?

MAUDE LATOUR: I started this project last summer, with the song “Headphones,” and it was an attempt to get to know myself, to see who I am inside my head and let the music lead the way and show me what it needs to show me. And it was really a very musical, emotional journey of trying to write. None of these songs are about heartbreak. None of these songs are about romance. It’s really an emotional journey about being a person, an individual, and a body. I think it’s my most mature body of work that I have out and it really has felt like being 22 and exploring the complexity of my feelings.

Now, I am writing about different things than when I was 19 and different things when I was 17—I have so many new feelings of uncertainty and complicated situations coming up. And I was wondering if music could meet me where I was on that journey. And it did. I’m really proud of this project, I feel like I changed throughout the project and grew up with it. And I think I’m ending it in a place where I’m fearful [but] also I’m really looking at the future and trying to be brave and end it on a note of like, “This is just the tip of the iceberg. Let me see what happens next.” And so now I’m like beginning to start my next work, but I’m so proud of this project

V: And as someone who has listened to your music, 001 is definitely a departure, thematically and sonically. Can you walk us through the reasoning behind that shift?

ML: I’m really trying to find my sound, there’s so many sounds that I consider mine as well. But in the early days of “Starsick,” “Superfruit,” “Furniture,” and “One More Weekend,” these songs I feel are “character songs.” But I can’t just repeat them over and over again, and I really like this whole project. I really want every song to feel new and be its own universe. I’m trying to get closer and closer to like my musical identity, I think we really started this project off with an open palette. And are you referring to “001” as a departure?

V: Yes!

ML: Yeah, that’s the newest song I made on this project and it points a little bit to how far I wanna go in the future—when I make my debut album. And even though “001” sounds so different, it is so my voice, my personality, and my message. I want to keep making music that I would like to listen to, music that is more refined and more my taste. I want to get better at nailing exactly like what I love.

V: And with this new direction, do you feel like your songwriting process has changed at all? Has this creative process felt different than other projects you’ve had before?

ML: I just finished school in May, I took a gap year. I won’t shut up about my gap year. I took a gap year, so since then, it’s been years since I’ve not been in school. And even then I was between school, but I’m now like, “oh, how will I do this music?” Music has always been this side channel—I would live my life and when emotions got too strong, I would turn to music and take them out there. And now I’m like, “wait, I will not be able to write an album if I am just relying on bursts of inspiration.”

While I was in school, I would finish a song, it would come out, and it would just be song to song because I would only have that much time. And now I’m like, “wait, I want to finish a whole project.” That’s been my dream since starting this, writing a continuous body of work. And so I’m starting on that and it is so different. A lot of my earlier work is narrating and really intellectualizing my feelings, writing about them as if I’m in a bird’s eye view, looking over them and being aware of how they feel and then talking about how they feel—instead of where I’m at in “001,” where it actually just streamed out of me.

Wait, this is corny. No, but I was angry and I was just like, “Fuck your friends, I just wanna have fun.” Instead of having it be like “Strangers Forever,” a perfect story: “Chapter One, I’m in my dorm room, crying on the floor.” I just started working on my album after this, and it was this same type of—I didn’t even know I could write like this. I don’t need to tell you exactly word for word what is happening. Let me put the feeling first and try to aim for the feeling and let the feeling come out. I’m deep in my own processes and working on what it means to me so it does feel like it’s changing a lot and I’m excited. I wanna make something that terrifies me and I wanna get terrified by my own way of doing this. And I hope it’s terrifying.

V: And obviously I wanted to touch on graduating—that’s obviously a big deal for you and you also signed your first record deal, which is amazing. What have these moments felt like? Has it felt surreal, how are you processing things now that you’re completely focused on music?

ML: Signing to a label was crazy. I did that last Summer and it gave me permission to do this for real, which is such a gift. I wake up every day and I can’t believe that I get to focus on this. And so signing was crazy for sure, that was surreal. The Warner [Records] team has been lovely, I’ve grown with them, and it called out a bunch of things that I need to find in my vision. And now we’re a year in and this is the first full project. And I’m like, “Okay, I get it.”

I’m figuring out my voice, my agency, and my execution of the project, and it’s changing. And I graduated, I’m glad I did it. I’m glad I did it. It made a lot of people frustrated at me for sure, because I really signed to the label then I was like, “and now I’m going to finish my degree in Philosophy.” But I did it and everyone somehow was chill enough with it. It was so much work at the end with my music picking up a lot. And then I cannot even believe how much I cared about homework and school—like, how did I go to class? I don’t get it. And I would do homework, I just can’t believe it, it was so busy and it was so ridiculous.

And I would tour on the weekends, I missed every single weekend at school in the Spring—it was ridiculous. Graduating was such an honor to my personal life, to my friendships, and to my private life, to put that first. And I think that’s a value I have in this project—to really be a person first and foremost. And I think people see that in how I present the project, too. I’m really not trying to put it on a pedestal or be part of a celebrity culture—this is my diary, this is my heart. And these are my best friends and this is what the music is about. And honoring those private goals, I love school, I’m definitely a nerdy person. I wrote a thesis about music, art, and philosophy. And it was really fulfilling and it just closed some chapters and gave me closure to be starting on this now. And I feel really ready to be here and I feel really happy to be here.

V: And going back to “001,” you’ve touched on it a little, but what do you hope people take away with this project? What do you want to say with these new songs?

ML: A big message is “Shine bright like a fucking star.” This is a place where everyone is welcome and I am trying to find my own way—going from “Headphones” to “001” being the latest person I am on the record. And starting with “Headphones,” I go from trying to learn about myself and learn to be in my body to like, “Oh, I am in it. And this is what I want, how I feel.” And I know myself better. And when I know these things and I’ve put the work into my friends, my life, and finding spirituality in nature and through my emotions, I can come back to myself, be in my body, find my voice, and shine to my fullest capacity.

And I believe all my music is a lifter, it lifts people up. And it brings people closer to their true selves. And I hope that this body of music gives you access to the sacred things in your life. And you’re in your body and you can exude your power fearlessly, live brightly. I hope this EP does that, and I hope it touches on some of these more complex feelings that I haven’t really spent a lot of time in my music talking about. Like in “Living It” and “Cyclone,” it’s about being sorry, forgiveness, and not knowing how you feel. But I think “001” is the perfect place for the project to end on and everyone is invited—you just tap into your powers and you freaking shine, loves it. 

V: No, I’m obsessed. It’s definitely a new side to you as an artist, which is really cool.I know you mentioned you’re working on your album. How is that shaping up? What direction are you heading with that?

ML: I’m one song in, I have no idea where it’s gonna go. None, literally. I am excited though. The first song has put me on a path, but I love this stage of not knowing what is happening. Younger versions of myself would have come into this—and I have when I thought it was time to write my first album—with a [mindset] of “This is what happens in the album, this is where I leave off.”

And I actually am in a place where I’m like, “Wait, I do not know the depth of my feelings. I do not know where the forces are going to channel me.” And it is such an exploratory time and I don’t wanna know the ceiling of what is possible in this body of work. I know for sure that it needs to be above the ceiling of what is possible, I need it to be my lifeline. It needs to be everything that everyone who’s been on this journey with me, watching my music grow over the past three EPs. It needs to be a destination that we get to and it makes perfect sense. It is all I think about, it’s gonna take the next months and months.

V: And to finish off, I know you’re headed on tour soon. What are you looking forward to? Are you excited to perform these new songs? What do you think that’ll feel like?

ML: Yes, a bunch of new songs. I’m excited, I have no idea how people are gonna dance to “001” in the room. I’m excited, I’m nervous. I’m playing in a bunch of new cities and it’s the first tour that’s consecutive. It’s three and half weeks straight. So that is different than my weekend tour while I was in school, I’m a little scared for sure. I’ll say, it I’m nervous. And we’re in a van, driving everywhere so that’s a lot of time in the car. I get a little car sick guys! Like, do people know that? So I’m curious, I’m a bit nervous, but it’ll be fun to play the new songs. It’s such euphoric joy performing. And as soon as I’m there, I’ll be reminded of all those feelings. But right now I’m like, “Whoa, I’m leaving my crush and I’m leaving my bed,” but we’ll see what happens.

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