Richard Swift, a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer who worked with the Black Keys, the Shins and many others, died Tuesday in Tacoma, Washington, at the age of 41, according to a post on his Facebook page. A rep confirmed the news to Pitchfork and other outlets.
The cause of death has not been announced; in June a GoFundMe effort was launched for him to help cover medical bills for an unspecified “life-threatening condition.”
“Today the world lost one of the most talented musicians I know,” Dan Auerbach, Swift’s bandmate in the Black Keys and the Arcs, wrote in an Instagram post. “I will miss you my friend.”
Swift was a remarkably prolific and multi-talented musician, releasing multiple solo albums and EPs as well as being a member of the Shins from 2011 to 2016, the touring bassist for the Black Keys in 2014, and drummer for the Arcs. He produced recordings by Sharon Van Etten, Damien Jurado, Foxygen, Guster, the Mynabirds and Pure Bathing Culture, among others.
He was a widely known figure in independent music circles: Ryan Adams, Sean Lennon and Mark Ronson all contributed to his solo recordings, Wilco founder Jeff Tweedy invited him to open for the band in 2007, and in 2016 he released a covers album with Jurado. He also owned a studio in Oregon called National Freedom.
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