"81" is the result of Joanna Newsom delving into pop territory and writing a shorter song than her usual ruminative psychedelic folk compositions. "You know, from the beginning, from the very first record, I've always loved great pop music, and I've always held that in my mind as something that would be fun to do, and maybe even something I thought I was doing sometimes, whatever my version of that is," she said. But the singer/keyboard player/harpist admitted she "would do a very bad job if I was really wanting to write a record of pop songs. I don't know if I can approach writing that way."
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