#3 of 20.

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

cut with your decks of candles
across the lake
(through driving rain)
and your holds hide
a thousand hurricanes
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

come on

pace through the fog
pulling in
setting off
race to the dockside
with your name 
held aloft

(lyrics and music written and performed by e. howden)

#2 of 20.

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
with our fingers crossed
wondering if they’ll play our song
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
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

(lyrics and music written and performed by e. howden)

# 1 of 20.

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 raisedbyswans@gmail.com directly if you have any concerns about shipping to your country.

raised by swans is the name of a man, volume 1 – https://raisedbyswans6.bandcamp.com/album/raised-by-swans-is-the-name-of-a-man-volume-1

raised by swans is the name of a man, volume 2: run with the silent wildfires – https://raisedbyswans6.bandcamp.com/album/raised-by-swans-is-the-name-of-a-man-volume-2-run-with-the-silent-wildfires

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.


i promise that i’ll post about CDs next week when i’m (hopefully) less of a wreck. i’m sorry for the confusion, in the meantime. i always forget how difficult a release is.

for now, i’m very grateful for your kind words about the new album so far.  i know that it’s a lot to take in, so i appreciate your patient and careful listening.  thank you.


my new album is out today.

i don’t have any words for how this feels.  they’re all inside the album.

all of my love,


p.s. listen/purchase links below. CDs available tomorrow (31.03.23); they’ve only just arrived.

bandcamp: https://raisedbyswans6.bandcamp.com/album/raised-by-swans-is-the-name-of-a-man-volume-2-run-with-the-silent-wildfires

spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/1XvRnp845ghuGLqhKFhqe8

tidal: https://tidal.com/browse/album/283443578

apple music: https://music.apple.com/us/album/raised-by-swans-is-the-name-of-a-man-volume-2/1677877030

youtube music: https://music.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_khULKaMOUhsAT3uxw9Vj7m7JPo9r_9O_0

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….