Richard Swift Dies at 41
The artist was a member of the Shins, the Black Keys and the Arcs
Last month, Swift revealed he had been hospitalized with a "serious medial condition" and launched a crowdfunding campaign to cover his medical expenses.
Swift was born in California and lived in Minnesota and Utah with his family growing up before returning to Southern California in 2001 to pursue a career in music. He recorded and produced his first two solo efforts — Walking Without Effort and The Novelist — in the early 2000s before re-releasing the pair as The Richard Swift Collection Vol. 1 through Secretly Canadian in 2005.
Swift's most recent solo effort was 2009's The Atlantic Ocean. His 2010 collaborative covers LP with Damien Jurado, Other People's Songs Volume One, saw an official release through Secretly Canadian in 2016. Swift also made music under the moniker Instruments of Science & Technology.
Swift was a member of the Shins from 2011 to 2016. He was also a touring bassist in the Black Keys in 2014, in addition to playing drums for Dan Auerbach's offshoot the Arcs.
As a producer, Swift worked with Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, Damien Jurado, the Mynabirds, Foxygen, Stereolab's Laetitia Sadier and more.
Find reaction to Swift's passing from industry figures and fans below.
Richard Swift was a singularly talented musician and producer; his illness and death reveal how fragile everything really is. Love and support to his friends & his family & all those he made beautiful music with. https://t.co/QF5Px5HVCR— Okkervil River (@okkervilriver) July 3, 2018
rip richard swift :-( way too young— Whitney (@whitneytheband) July 3, 2018
So truly tragic and heartbreaking to hear about Richard Swift's passing, incredibly inspired by him when I was starting out, inspired by him still. Rest in peace. X— JamesVincentMcMorrow (@jamesvmcmorrow) July 3, 2018
A sad day in the world of music: the sudden passing of Richard Swift. Great producer, instrumental to so many strong artists, but also a wonderful songwriter himself. Hear his double opus "The Novelist / Walking without effort". He will be missed and heard for times to come. ❤️— Sondre Lerche (@SondreLerche) July 3, 2018
Richard Swift was the most talented person I've ever met, some impossible amalgamation of Harry Nilsson, Paul McCartney, and Levon Helm, beyond soulful on any instrument he picked up, and a writer of hilarious, heartbreaking, funky, psychedelic songs.— Dave Depper (@davedepper) July 3, 2018
Richard Swift was @JessieBaylin musical soul mate and could not have been a kinder soul. There will always be a special place in our hearts and memories for the one and only Walt Wolfman. RIP Swifty— nathan followill (@doctorfollowill) July 3, 2018