this one was born in an empty performance hall in a castle on the water; the 300-year old Villa Concordia in Bamberg, Germany, where in september 2021, i was given permission to rehearse for an upcoming show on their beautiful Steinway piano, in the very same room in which i played my first concert in Bamberg, back in 2015.
thank you for all of your lovely comments about the new album – CDs are still available through bandcamp, and it can be streamed in all sorts of places.
come back to haunt me
i’ll be no longer a miner of melting snow
weighed down by a magnifying glass let the tunnels all collapse around me
and in the darkness i’ll risk it all let every earthquake and every fault come back to haunt me come back to haunt me
you cut with your decks of candles across the lake (through driving rain) and your holds hide a thousand hurricanes who’ve lost their way
come blow the house down every wall as if the whole thing was made of straw
come back to haunt me come back to haunt me
sail pace through the fog pulling in setting off i’ll race to the dockside with your name held aloft
(lyrics and music written and performed by e. howden)
from “raised by swans is the name of a man, volume 2: run with the silent wildfires”, out now on apple music, tidal, spotify, youtube music, and more. CD copies available at https://raisedbyswans6.bandcamp.com/.
this one craves high volume.
with love and hope,
all we’ve lost sleeping with our fingers crossed wondering if they’ll play our song waiting to be ready to belong and all the while there are star shells above us mirrored in our eyes carried softly among us on the breeze and moving in the mountain streams ribbons from the raven’s arc or traces of the engines of the dark i dream of you that the war is behind us will you dream it too until the morning reminds us it’s untrue
sunrise is a star shell and the moon all we hold and we’ve held
so stand and sing as the earth’s trembling murders of nightjars send their song echoing out to the farthest point of light i want to see the star shells through their eyes
all along thinking we were not so strong breaking from the tidal wave learning that to love is to be brave and all the while there are star shells below us mirrored in the ice and they’re daring us to notice
will you sing along i’m right here by your side will you sing along
it’s come true sunrise is a star shell and the moon all we hold and we’ve held it’s come true sunrise is a star shell and the moon all we hold and we’ve held
so stand and sing for everything trembling in your defiant heart every note lingering lifting the night up as the scene’s flickering murders of nightjars send their song echoing out where the cars are rushing by i want to see the star shells through their eyes
(lyricsand music written and performed by e. howden)
though it’s been my own choice to be a remote island, in many ways, and though promoting myself will only ever feel like an ugly suit that’s nine sizes too small, marking the release of a 20-song album i’ve been working on for years with the equivalent of a couple of flares shot into a corner of the sky feels inadequate and wrong.
to give each song its own space, i’ve decided to share them individually here and on my facebook page, with lyrics, over the next little while.
this is #1 of 20. it’s called “falling box of jewels”, and is the first track from my fifth full-length album, “raised by swans is the name of a man, volume 2: run with the silent wildfires”, which was released on march 30th, 2023. CD copies of the album are available now through bandcamp with (almost) worldwide delivery (volume 1 is finally available as a CD too), and it’s also streaming on a long list of platforms, including spotify, apple music, youtube music, and tidal.
falling box of jewels
fading shapeshifters shadow foxes fooling the twilit grey skirting the eclipse in the frozen lake burning like a blind spot i can’t unsee fall back to elsewhere you against my chest on the fire escape or waiting with the seedlings i’d promised rain swimming in the scent of imagined trees
where we are we are free at least until the day we are brave enough to wake up from the dream
colours keep changing even from a summer that’s long since passed come dive with me for pearls in the molten glass surface in the milk of the moon-fed pool stripped of all armor kiss me where your fingerprints scarred my skin give the broken record its billionth spin even if the silence cannot be fooled
here we are set me free even as the rainbow is breaking up and poisoning the stream even if the memory of our love is fraying at the seams at least until the day i am brave enough to wake up from the dream
(lyrics and music written and performed by e. howden)
many thanks to The Art of Rock and Metal (link here) for reminding me that yesterday was the 18th birthday of my first album.
happy birthday, ‘codes and secret longing’.
though it’s long been broken and unusable, i still own the Fostex 4-track recorder that i created the first versions of all 13 of those songs on. perhaps we’ll have some cake later, me and the machine.
CDs of both the new album and volume 1 are now for sale through bandcamp (links below).
note: in the final days of mixing and mastering “volume 2: run with the silent wildfires”, i was reminded that that CDs can only contain 80 minutes of audio, maximum – had to make the difficult decision of removing one song (“why can’t absence”) and an instrumental intro (from “a lucky streak of moonlight”) to just barely reach a total that would fit on a CD.
so the CD version contains 19 tracks. but still feels more than whole to me.
as a counter to this, i’m overjoyed to have added “trains we both missed” and “pale blue black holes” to the CD versions of Volume 1 – up until now these have only been available as digital downloads.
p.s. please be sure to read the “shipping and returns” section (click here), and contact email@example.com directly if you have any concerns about shipping to your country.
postpartum black clouds have retreated, in part thanks to the arrival of some CDs – several boxes each of both my brand new album (out one week ago today; please see past updates to listen) and also volume 1, which until now has not had a physical form, and has been haunting me like a disembodied spirit since february 2021.
i’m proud of how they turned out. also extremely relieved to be finished with their design; if i could count the hours i spent battling adobe photoshop and illustrator over the past months, the number might destroy the universe.
CDs will go on sale tomorrow via bandcamp; i’ll post about it here when it happens.
thank you once again for your very kind (and very moving) comments and emails about the new album. i couldn’t believe in it more ferociously, and even with the usual waves of vulnerability still moving through me, it feels really good to share it with all of you. thank you.
very moved to finally see this Passe-moi les Jumelles documentary, set in the highlands of Iceland (link below). and to have so many of my songs appear within, intertwined with the story of a faraway friend.
Olivier Joly is a photographer and journalist from France who i met in 2018 in the Westfjords of Iceland, where i found myself living in a remote coastal community of 53 for seven months, (barely) managing a tiny harbourside grocery shop, sleeping in a cave above the sea now and then, and falling in love with a threatened river named Hvalá.
after our brief meeting, Olivier discovered my music, and we subsequently became friends via email (i was also honoured to appear in photo form in his wonderfully evocative book of black-and-white Icelandic photography, “Sagas”).
Olivier is the narrator of this documentary, and from what i gather, played my songs persistently enough in the company of Jean-Marc Chevillard, the filmmaker, as they travelled and worked together, to have them become a part of the experience. i’m grateful to both of them for their warmth and support during our communications, and for their generosity in including my music in their beautiful short film.
it’s called “Islande, lumières des Hautes Terres”, and you can watch it here if you’d like (subtitles available; go to settings>subtitles>auto-translate>choose language):
also: my new album comes out in three days. and some CDs should be arriving from the factory, too….