Richard Swift (singer-songwriter)

American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and short-film maker

Richard Swift (March 16, 1977 – July 3, 2018) was an American singer-songwriter, musician and producer.[1] He was the founder, owner, and recording engineer of National Freedom, a recording studio located in Oregon. He worked as producer for such acts as The Shins, Damien Jurado, David Bazan, Foxygen, Jessie Baylin, Nathaniel Rateliff, The Mynabirds, Wake Owl, Laetitia Sadier of Stereolab, Gardens & Villa, Cayucas, and Guster.[2]

Richard Swift
Richard Swift at the MAC, Birmingham - 09.06.2007 (cropped).jpg
Background information
Birth nameRicardo Sigilfredo Olivarez Swift-Ochoa
Born(1977-03-16)March 16, 1977
OriginCalifornia, U.S.
DiedJuly 3, 2018(2018-07-03) (aged 41)
Tacoma, Washington, U.S.
GenresIndie pop, lo-fi
Years active2000–2018
LabelsPolydor, Secretly Canadian, Velvet Blue, Joyful Noise
Associated actsThe Arcs, The Shins, The Black Keys, Instruments Of Science & Technology, Starflyer 59

Swift was a former member of indie rock band The Shins and The Arcs.[3] In April 2014, Richard announced via Twitter that he had joined The Black Keys as their touring bassist and backing singer.

In June 2018, Swift was hospitalized in Tacoma, Washington with a "life-threatening illness".[4] He died on July 3, 2018 from hepatitis caused by his alcoholism, aged 41.[5]


  1. Monger, James Christopher. "Richard Swift - Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 1 November 2014.
  2. "A Whiskey-Soaked Interview with Richard Swift". Noisey. 2013-12-04. Retrieved 2018-07-03.
  3. "Richard Swift's Sprawling Musical World". Retrieved 2018-07-03.
  4. Blais-Billie, Braudie (June 19, 2018). "Richard Swift Recovering From "Life-Threatening Condition," Medical Fund Launched". Pitchfork. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
  5. "Richard Swift Dead at 41 | Pitchfork". Retrieved 2018-07-03.