Singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, Richard Swift wrote music for the love of the art. He wasn’t overly famous and never wrote a commercial hit song, but his singular work resonated through a lot ear drums, bringing joy to all those lucky enough to have discovered him. He left this world way too early (in 2018), but his music keeps him and the freedom of his work forever alive.
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.
As a producer he embraced the limitations of his often basic equipment, preferring the more authentic (and often ‘older’) sound it generated. This sound was perfect for songs such as today’s which, if you didn’t know better, would easily pass as a number from the 1950’s and not the 2010’s!! The Bully appears on his 2015 album, Ground Trouble Jaw, and showcases Swift’s vocal mastery perfectly as two seemingly different voices go head to head as one voice accuses the other of leaning on his car. The contrast between tones is striking and his humour shines out throughout – I love the ending! It’s a piece of joy!! Check it out above.