Joanna Newsom returned to Later with Jools Holland tonight for a performance of “‘81” off her latest album, Have One On Me. Whereas Newsom played a truncated version of “Soft as Chalk” on a grand piano for Jimmy Fallon earlier in the year, this time around she broke out her trademark harp for a rendition that is almost perfectly faithful to the cut on the album (one of many benefits of not requiring studio magic). If there’s one thing I learned from Jody Rosen’s definitive piece in the Times earlier this year, it’s that Newsom’s chops on the harp are perhaps her most underrated talent. Say what you will about her voice, her “ folk-camp-shredder mentality” is undeniable.
In any case, if you’re checking out this video, you’re likely a fan already, so I’ll quit preaching to the choir. Enjoy: