Raised By Swans is Canadian independent musician Eric Howden.
A songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Eric has written, recorded and self-released four full-length albums as Raised By Swans thus far; Codes and Secret Longing (2005), No Ghostless Place (2010), Öxnadalur (2014), and as of February 2021, Volume 1 (of 2) of Raised By Swans Is The Name Of A Man.
His music has found its way into film; Academy Award and Palm d’Or nominated director Atom Egoyan included three songs from Codes and Secret Longing in his film, Adoration (2009) and two songs from No Ghostless Place in the erotic thriller Chloe (2010), and “Violet Light” from Codes and Secret Longing is featured in novelist Douglas Coupland’s film Everything’s Gone Green (2007), voted Canadian Feature Film of the Year at the Vancouver International Film Festival. As for television, his songs can be heard in episodes of Regenesis, Peak Season, Would Be Kings, and Whistler.
Over the six years spent writing and recording Raised By Swans Is The Name Of A Man, Eric performed mostly in Eastern Europe (once finding a venue with the aid of the loveliest GPS alternative possible – a man on a bicycle), lost a cat friend who’d been with him for nearly 23 years, managed a tiny grocery store in the most remote municipality in Iceland (current population 53), briefly delivered post in the most remote municipality in Iceland, was wrongfully suspected of being a spy in the most remote municipality in Iceland, and planted 10,000 baby birch trees in the hills of Öxnadalur, all by himself. He returned to Canada in late 2019 to finish recording and mixing Volume 1 at the House of Miracles, and is currently working on finishing Volume 2, which will be released later in 2021.
Raised By Swans has performed concerts in Russia, Germany, Iceland, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Greece, Serbia, Hungary, Croatia, the Czech Republic, and Canada, where he lives most of the time.
Before 2013, Raised By Swans often erroneously presented himself as a band rather than a solo artist; he eventually shared the truth (and his reasons for doing so) in an interview conducted in 2012. Deeper than this truth, his fourth album’s title reflects our ability to rename ourselves to transcend difficulty and pain, but also the importance of connecting this new identity one day back to ourselves – not to return to one’s old name, necessarily, but to acknowledge that whatever strength we’ve found was within us all along.