Despite the fact that the 80s sound has not aged well at all, this song still works because that vocal is cooking with gas. And now, back to my dilemma regarding words.
I posted this query to some friends and then on the “Boarders Writing a Novel” thread on the A Song of Ice and Fire forum. The answer seems to be that going over 120K is not a good idea. There have been exceptions but it lessens your chances of getting published and that’s not in my best interests.
My plan is thus: I’ll finish the five main POVs/plot lines in a way I deem fitting and then work on the epilogue. If that ends up taking me over 120K, some serious pruning is in order. Otherwise, the next draft will be just working the text over until it shines. And then I’ll be ready to worry about query letters.