Richard Swift, a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer who worked with the Black Keys, the Shins and many others, died last week at the age of 41. His family revealed the cause of death in a Facebook post late Monday.
“Yes, Richard Swift suffered from alcohol addiction, and it’s ultimately what took his life,” the post reads in part. “With the support of family and friends and the assistance of MusiCares, Richard had checked himself into rehab for multiple stays over the past two years, but his body gave out before he could overcome the disease.”
Per his wishes, he was moved to hospice care. He is survived by his wife and three children.
The family also said that he had planned to release new music in November. “We do not have a timeline for its completion yet, but we hope to share it with you sooner than that,” the message reads.
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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