Photo by Larry Crane
I won’t lay it on thick here, as I can’t say I’m a longtime fan of Richard Swift’s work. What I will say is that as a producer, Richard Swift produced three of the best sounding indie records in the last 10 years. His work with Damien Jurado on albums Maraqopa, Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son, and Visions of Us on the Land, to my ears, is pure and perfect. He had a magic touch with Jurado that aged those songs and albums to a pristine magnificence. Swift had a very unique approach to his production, giving both an organic and ethereal vibe to the work. Those albums feel like time capsules to some alternate universe version of the late 60s and early 70s. Epic in feel, yet intimate to the ears.
Of course, Swift has worked with countless artists over the years(including The Shins, David Bazan, Foxygen, Stereolab, The Black Keys, The Arcs, Guster, etc…), and has put out albums and EPs under his own name(recording at the Wilco Loft for his Richard Swift as Onasis album.) His reach was far in the musical world, and he touched many artists. He made them sound that much better in the studio and on stage alike.
Richard Swift passed away July 3rd, 2018, at the age of 41. Play some Richard Swift today. I’m gonna blow the roof off with Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son. Maybe twice if the wife lets me.