John Maus (born February 23, 1980) is an American musician, composer, singer, songwriter, and philosopher. His music is characterized by vintage synthesizer sounds and the use of Medieval church modes, which frequently draw comparisons to 1980s goth-pop. Much of his early lo-fi work was created using a cassette multi-track recorder and an early 1990s synthesizer soundbank, and is noted for anticipating the late 2000s hypnagogic pop movement. On stage, he is characterized for his intense displays of emotion while performing. He is also a former teacher of philosophy at the University of Hawaii, where he later earned his PhD in political science.
In 1998, Maus left his hometown of Austin, Minnesota, to study experimental music at the California Institute of the Arts. When he befriended and began to work alongside classmate Ariel Pink, he took a greater interest in pop music. His first two albums, Songs (2006) and Love Is Real (2007), generally drew negative reviews upon release, and it was not until the success of his third, We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves (2011), that he grew more widely accepted as an outsider artist. After a five-year absence from public appearances and releasing new music, he returned in 2017 with the album Screen Memories.