Raised by Swans

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Raised by Swans
Origin London, Ontario, Canada
Genres Indie Rock, shoegazing
Years active 1998 (1998)–present
Labels 1101
Website raisedbyswans.com
Members Eric Howden

Raised by Swans is the musical alias of Canadian solo artist Eric Howden.[1][2] A singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Howden chose 'Raised By Swans' as an alias in 1997 following a cathartic dream he had after leaving his previous band; the name relies on a homonym (‘raise’: to rear; to elevate[3]) to convey a simultaneous sense of connection and freedom.[4]

Howden composes his haunting,[5] contemplative[6] songs using a multi-track recorder, guitar, bass, drum machine, and keyboard, meticulously writing all parts for all instruments, as well as all the lyrics.[7][8] This process contributes to his relatively slow recording and releasing pace.[9]

In a 2013 interview, Howden explained that pride in his body of work eventually overcame his discomfort in referring to Raised By Swans as "I" instead of "we". In his words: "Raised By Swans is and always has been a solo project, not a band. That fact hasn't been made clear in the past, which is wholly my fault; well-meaning but misguided attempts at modesty and inclusion have clouded the truth. I'm honoured to have such gifted musicians alongside me onstage...but if someone else happens to play a part on an album of mine, for instance, they're playing a part I've written."[10]


Studio albums[edit]


  • Sightings, 1101 (independent), 2013
  • Trains We Both Missed / Pale Blue Black Holes, 1101 (independent), 2016[12]

Raised By Swans' first two full-length studio albums (Codes and Secret Longing, 2005, and No Ghostless Place, 2010) were recorded, mixed and mastered at Andy Magoffin's House of Miracles studio, then located in London, ON. The studio has since moved to Cambridge, ON.[13]

Raised By Swans released the single 'Sightings'[14] on July 19, 2013, through Bandcamp exclusively.[15] The song was written and recorded by Howden following a trip to Berlin, Germany in 2012.[16] This was followed by his third studio album, Öxnadalur, in November 2014 and a double single Trains We Both Missed / Pale Blue Black Holes in September 2016.


Raised By Swans' song 'Violet Light' is featured in Douglas Coupland's film Everything's Gone Green.[17]

Armenian-Canadian film director Atom Egoyan is a fan of Howden's music,[18] and has included his songs in two of his films. Three songs from Codes and Secret Longing are featured in Adoration (2008), and two songs from No Ghostless Place appear in Chloe (2010). The live version of the band, as it was in 2010, also plays itself in Chloe, performing sections of ‘We Were Never Young’ and ‘Longer Shadows, Shorter Days’ live at The Rivoli in Toronto, Ontario.[19]


  1. ^ Francis Notarangelo (2013-12-04). "Intervista con Eric Howden (Raised by Swans)". altprogcore. Retrieved 2014-01-13. 
  2. ^ Eric Howden (2012-10-22). ".." raisedbyswans.com. Retrieved 2014-01-13. 
  3. ^ "Raise | Define Raise at Dictionary.com". Dictionary.reference.com. Retrieved 2012-03-19. 
  4. ^ "Raised By Swans on Dreams and Nightmares". Blogto.com. 2009-12-10. Retrieved 2012-03-19. 
  5. ^ Josh (2010-04-23). "Review & 5 Minutes With: Raised By Swans". Crack In The Road. Retrieved 2012-03-19. 
  6. ^ Persaud, Travis (2011-05-10). "Raised By Swans - No Ghostless Place • Pop & Rock Reviews •". Exclaim.ca. Retrieved 2012-03-19. 
  7. ^ "Swans in Flight". nxew.ca. 2009-12-08. Retrieved 2013-10-24.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  8. ^ "Raised By Swans Interview (unedited)". Retrieved 2-13-03-21.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  9. ^ http://blogs.canoe.ca/brandnewblog/general/reaney-rawk-intvus-mmxvol-i-a-fascinating-qa-with-eric-howden-of-raised-by-swans/
  10. ^ Francis Notarangelo (2013-12-04). "Intervista con Eric Howden (Raised by Swans)". altprogcore. Retrieved 2014-01-13. 
  11. ^ Eric Howden (2014-09-28). ".." raisedbyswans.com. Retrieved 2014-10-03. 
  12. ^ "trains we both missed / pale blue black holes (7"), by Raised By Swans". Raised By Swans. Retrieved 2016-09-13. 
  13. ^ "The House of Miracles". Thetwominutemiracles.com. Retrieved 2012-03-19. 
  14. ^ Eric Howden (2013-07-19). ".." raised by swans. Retrieved 2013-08-06. 
  15. ^ Eric Howden (2013-07-19). ".." raisedbyswans.com. Retrieved 2013-08-06. 
  16. ^ Eric Howden (2013-07-12). ".." raisedbyswans.com. Retrieved 2013-08-06. 
  17. ^ James Reaney - May 25, 2007 (2007-05-25). "Everything's Gone Green . . . for Raised by Swans « James' Brand New Blog". Blogs.canoe.ca. Retrieved 2012-03-19. 
  18. ^ "Atom Egoyan | TALKING TO... | TORO MAGAZINE | What Men Need to Know about Sex, Style, Music, Sports, Drinks & Video". Toro Magazine. Retrieved 2012-03-19. 
  19. ^ CBC Radio 3 - New Music Canada - Artist - Raised by Swans

External links[edit]