Singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer Richard Swift unfortunately passed away last year at the age of 41. Swift was a prolific, beloved figure during his life. He befriended and collaborated with many musicians in the Pacific Northwest and beyond, Death Cab For Cutie frontman Ben Gibbard among them.
For Record Store Day, Gibbard released a new 7″ titled The Swift Sessions consisting of two previously unreleased tracks that he recorded with Swift, “Me And Magdalena” and “The Concept.” The former, a tune Gibbard originally wrote for the Monkees, has made its way online. (The latter, presumably an alternate version of the Teenage Fanclub song Gibbard recorded when he covered Bandwagonesque in full, has yet to surface.)
The Swift Sessions is one of a few tributes to Swift that have popped up since his death, including a 7″ series called The Fug Yep Soundation featuring the likes of Dan Auerbach, David Bazan, and Swift’s former Shins bandmate James Mercer. That series also included Damien Jurado, whose new album In The Shape Of A Storm grapples with Swift’s final days.
Gibbard had this to say of his release:
All of us who knew and loved Richard Swift are still reeling from the loss. Thankfully, he left us with a large body of work to remember him by. And while I wish it were under other circumstances, I am beyond proud to share some of the work we did together. He was a brilliant human being the likes of which I have rarely encountered in my career. Rest in Peace, Richard.
Listen to Gibbard and Swift’s take on “Me And Magdalena” below.
The Swift Sessions is out now on 7” vinyl at participating Record Store Day retailers. Find one near you here.