Richard Swift, Indie Polymath, Dead at 41

Richard Swift, Indie Polymath, Dead at 41

Richard Swift, the singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer known for his work with The Shins and The Black Keys as well as for his meticulously crafted solo albums, died this morning in Tacoma, Washington, Pitchfork reports. He was 41. No immediate cause of death was confirmed, but Swift had recently been hospitalized with a “life-threatening” medical condition.

Swift’s released his first EP, The Novelist, in 2003, and re-released it alongside his debut mini-album Walking Without Effort after signing to Secretly Canadian in 2005. He became a fixture in the indie rock scene, releasing a clutch of cult-adored EPs and records. The last of those, 2009’s The Atlantic Ocean LP, featured contributions from Mark Ronson, Ryan Adams, and Sean Lennon.

He joined The Shins as in 2011 and played with The Black Keys as a touring guitarist in 2014 before joining the Dan Auerbach-fronted garage rock band The Arcs, with whom he released one album, 2015’s Yours, Dreamily,. He worked as a producer on records for Tennis, Tijuana Panthers, Kevin Morby, Foxygen, and many others. Swift’s collaboration with Damien Jurado, Other People’s Songs Volume One, was released in 2013.

“Today the world lost one of the most talented musicians I know,” Auerback wrote on Instagram. “I will miss you my friend.”

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