Vocabulary: So what’s the Plangents Edition

testudo: mobile shelter from arrows often formed by overlapping shields in Roman legions
titivate: to decorate or spruce up oneself or a location (poss. tidy+elevate/cultivate)
tumbrel: a two-wheeled cart infamously used to carry prisoners to the guillotine
foehn: or föhn, a warm dry wind in the lee of a mountain range, esp. the Alps
debarrass: the reverse of embarrass, to remove something causing shame
miniver: light (possibly squirrel) fur used in ceremonial robes of state
erethism: abnormal sensitivity of a body part or mind to stimulation
precisian: one who adheres closely to rules or forms; or, a puritan
plexus: a complex structure or network of parts (fr. Latin to braid)
cadaverine: a toxic, colorless chemical produced by putrefaction
pintle: a pin on which a part turns, esp. a rudder or gun carriage
pelerine: a women’s short cape with long pointed ends in front
energumen: one possessed by a devil or evil spirit; or, a zealot
palter: to speak insincerely or capriciously; or, to haggle
kedge: a light anchor used to warp a vessel, or to use one
plangent: resonant and deep, esp. mournful sounds
sistrum: a type of metal rattle used in ancient Egypt
dree: to endure; to dree weird is to endure fate
murrey: a mulburry, or the color of one
rodomontade: boasts or bluster
pantler: a servant of the pantry
bemaze: bewilder, bemuse
facinorous: highly wicked

Anna Von Hausswolf – “Pomperipossa”
The Miraculous

Having heard Von Hausswolf’s solo organ works at a bar (“It’s like church in here,” some guy told the goth bartender; my friend, the place is basically Wicca-themed, expect organ music!) I looked up her back catalogue and was very pleasantly surprised to find it intricately arranged, metal-adjacent chamber rock. Von Hausswolf clearly has a gift for composing tonal journeys, as opener “Discovery” shows, smoothly transitioning from eerie to upbeat to chaotic to mystical and ecstatic. The rest of the album sees her experimenting with arrangements and vocals to extraordinary effect, with the saturated “Pomperipossa” somehow both the shortest track and most representative. (bandcamp)

Vocabulary: Graith in the Grith of the Garth Edition

weet: also wit or wot, to know (but in the context discovered, ‘come wind or weet,’ probably wet)
perdue: a soldier sent on an especially dangerous mission (fr. French, ‘forgotten’)
gare: in water, a pier; on land, a station; in a person, greed or miserliness
electuary: medicine mixed with sugar or honey for easier consumption
garth: a courtyard, esp. within a cloister; or, a hoop for children’s play
sendal: fine silk fabric used in the middle ages, or a garment of it
grith: in old English law, sanctuary provided by church or crown
troke: also troak or truck, to barter or trade, or the items traded
corrie: a bowl-like terrain feature formed by retreating glaciers
inexpugnable: unable to be overcome or driven away by force
eft: certain terrestrial newts or developmental stages thereof
syth: also sith, sithe, etc, relatives of sithence, meaning since
graith: equipment, or to equip, or to be equipped (graithed)
thrawart: stubborn and obstinate, or twisted and distorted
umbles: also numbles, the edible organs of animals
chrysoprase: gemlike green chalcedony
trisulk: also trisulc, triple-pronged
speer: also speir, to ask or inquire
capriped: having feet like a goat’s
sike: a small stream or ditch
jimp: scant or dainty
fico: a trifle, or a fig

Showtime Goma – “Come and Know Me Better Man”
Smiley Face

I know Goma from her work as virtuoso vocalist in A Sunny Day in Glasgow. Her solo work is similarly varied and anthemic, with thick synths and guitar washes pierced by soaring voices. Some of the other tracks on this album reach a little higher or farther out, but this one packs a remarkable amount into less than three minutes, making the song seem a long journey that’s simultaneously over before you know it. (bandcamp)

Possession is more often secular than supernatural. Men are possessed by their thoughts of a hated person, a hated class, race or nation. At the present time the destinies of the world are in the hands of self-made demoniacs — of men who are possessed by, and who manifest, the evil they have chosen to see in others. They do not believe in devils, but they have tried their hardest to be possessed — have tried and been triumphantly successful.

Aldous Huxley, The Devils of Loudon

Vocabulary: Return to Shender Edition

blackleg: one of several blackening diseases of plant and animal; or, a swindler in racing or sport
antinomian: believing morals are irrelevant to those already bound for heaven
espalier: a framework by which a plant is made to grow in a specific shape
jess: in falconry, a strap around a bird’s leg to which a leash attaches
varvel: in falconry, a ring with the owner’s name attached to a jess
lunette: in architecture or fortification, a half-moon-shaped space
equerry: in a royal household, the officer in charge of the horses
cresset: a pendant or mounted metal cup used as a brazier
dree: a tedious or dreary noise, or to suffer hearing one
ukase: an order by absolute authority, esp. a czar’s
drysalter: a dealer of dry chemicals and dyes
delate: to inform or report, esp. to denounce
disembogue: to discharge or pour forth
shend: to reproach, shame, or injure
prevenient: before or in advance of
vermeil: vermilion, or gilded metal
yegg: a safecracker or burglar
izard: a Pyrenean antelope
langret: a loaded die
hautboy: an oboe