Richard Swift Dead at 41
The singer-songwriter and producer performed with The Shins, The Black Keys and The Arcs, in addition to his work as a solo artistPhoto by Kevin Winter/Getty Music News Richard Swift
Singer-songwriter and producer Richard Swift died in Tacoma, Wash., on Tuesday morning after being hospitalized last month because of a serious, undisclosed medical condition, per Pitchfork. He was 41 years old.
Swift toured and performed with The Shins for five years. In addition, he acted as touring bassist for The Black Keys and played drums for Dan Auerbach’s side project The Arcs. As a producer, Swift collaborated with Guster, The Mynabirds, Sharon Van Etten and Damien Jurado. He released his last solo album The Atlantic Ocean in 2009.
Auerbach expressed his sadness at the news of Swift’s death on Twitter, writing, “I will miss you, my friend.”
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. @swiftswiftpic.twitter.com/h9FaboGieY
— Dan Auerbach (@danauerbach) July 3, 2018
Artists including David Bazan, Okkervil River and more also paid tribute to the late musician.
Richard Swift was a beautiful, powerful wizard. It really hurts that he’s gone.
— David “Abolish ICE” Bazan (@davidbazan) July 3, 2018
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
RIP to my dear friend Richard Swift. I love you and I always will. My heart is broken, but i’ll never forget the times we spent together. You are a genius.
— Eric Slick (@ericslickmusic) 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
On June 19, representatives announced that Swift had been hospitalized due to a “life-threatening condition.” His family established a GoFundMe page to support his medical expenses, with hopes of raising $100,000.
Watch a 2011 Swift performance from the Paste vault below.