The Black Keys mourns the loss of the singer-songwriter and produced Richard Swift. Not only a member of The Black Keys, but Swift was also involved in The Sings and The Arcs.
The singer-songwriter was 41 years old when we passed this morning in Tacoma, Washington. Last month, Swift had been hospitalized due to a “life-threatening condition.” According to a source, a fund had been launched to cover his medical bills.
Friends and former members reach out and remember him with kind words. Dan Auerbach, Swift’s band-mate in The Black Keys wrote in an Instagram post, “Today the world lost one of the most talented musicians I know. I will miss you my friend.”
Swift was a member of The Shins from 2011 to 2016, toured as a bassist with the Black Keys in 2014, and played drums for the Arcs. Although a part of three bands and the hands and minds behind many more collaborations, Swift released his own music as a solo artist.
He was a self-taught musician and producer, playing most all of the instruments and engineering his first few records in the early 2000’s, Walking Without Effort and The Novelist.
In 2005, he signed to Secretly Canadian and re-released his projects, this time with the name of The Richard Swift Collection Vol. 1 and another full length album under his own name in 2009 called The Atlantic Ocean. In 2016, he released an album of collaborative covers with Damien Jurado. His life was full of music from beginning to end.
UPDATE (7/10): Richard Swift’s family, Secretly Canadian and Next Wave Management has posted a message on Facebook, revealing the cause of his death. They were incredibly frank about his struggles with alcoholism, which in the note states is what ultimately killed the musician and producer. He had checked himself into rehab several times over the last two years but after being diagnosed with hepatitis, and liver and kidney distress in June 2018, his body could not overcome the damage. After a month of working with multiple hospitals, doctors were unable to stabilize him. He requested to be admitted to hospice care in Tacoma, WA and died July 3, 2018. He was 41 years old and is survived by his wife Shealynn and three children.
Additionally, they mention Swift was working on new material that was going to be released in the fall. While they do not have a timeline, they plan to release it before the originally planned release date.