RIP Richard Swift

Photo by Brian Lowe

From NPR MUSIC (Andrew Flanagan):

Richard Swift, a highly regarded producer and solo artist, died early Tuesday morning in Washington state. His death was confirmed by a manager, Adam Katz, but no cause of death was given. He was 41 years old.

Swift began self-releasing music in the early 2000s, first on his own, then through smaller independent labels like Velvet Blue Music and Spunk Records. His work attracted the attention of Secretly Canadian Records, which released a compilation of his previous material, The Richard Swift Collection, Vol. 1, in 2005. He went on to release three more solo albums for the label, Dressed Up for the Letdown (2006), the double-EP Richard Swift As Onasis (2008) and The Atlantic Ocean (2009).

Photo by Brian Lowe

Besides working as both a collaborative and touring sideman for The Shins and The Black Keys, Swift was also an in-demand producer for a wide range of artists, most of whom recorded at his Cottage Grove, Ore., studio, National Freedom. They’ve included Kevin Morby, Foxygen, Damien Jurado and the well-received 2015 debut of Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, among many others. Swift’s projects always tended towards warm, but garage-indebted, textures influenced by classic recordings from Sly & The Family Stone and The Beatles. The Black Keys’ Dan Auberach confirmed Swift’s death on Instagram, writing, “Today the world lost one of the most talented musicians I know. He’s now with his mom and sister. I will miss you my friend.”

Swift most recently visited KCRW with his Dan Auerbach-led band The Arcs. Watch performances below of this talented artist, who left us far too soon.