When Richard Swift passed away in July the music world lost a rare and influential talent. A singer/songwriter, multi instrumentalist and producer with such distinct style and sound all his own, Swift was much beloved by a broad community of artists with whom he had collaborated.
Jess Wolfe of Lucius says “We were on tour in Europe when we lost Richard. We didn’t get to say goodbye face to face. We didn’t get to go to the memorial service. I didn’t get a chance to hear his voice. I only talked to him while he slept, hoping somehow, in his dreams, he was hearing us. We sang to him. We sang to him and it was the worst and best gift we’d ever received. Somehow, pouring out something for someone who has done so much for your musical life, is the only way to cope. This loss really messed us up, as I know it did all of us in the musical community, and we felt the need, the urgency, to make sure to do something about that.
What started off as a small idea and a way we could personally (and actively) bring awareness to the disease that is alcoholism / drug addiction in our communities – that which took Swift’s life – has now grown into a larger concept, a commitment, bound together by many of Swift’s closest friends and collaborators, with a goal to share in these efforts. We made up a name for the whole thing from a phrase Swift coined. It’s called THE FUG YEP SOUNDATION; a 7″ record series, with each release featuring 2 songs from close friends & collaborators of Swift.”
Sarah Versprille of Pure Bathing Culture adds “Each cover features Swift’s original artwork. He was a prolific and persistent visual artist. He made work all the time and his studio was just as much a place for creating visual art as it was for making music. Shealynn (Richard’s wife) has helped us curate a collection of his pieces for each cover of this series that provide a window into this side of his genius, humor and creativity.”
The first release of the series will feature the Los Angeles-based band Lucius. The 7″ arrives December 7th via Mom+Pop Music and features “Christmas Time Is Here” on Side A and “Keep Me Hanging On” on side B. Both songs were recorded at Richard’s studio National Freedom in April 2017.
Wolfe continues “Richard would have probably hated this attention. But we all wanted to do more for him, we all wanted to be a part of a better way, to be helpful. I think we can all agree, the best way we can do this moving forward is awareness. What a gift that we’re able to offer what we love in honor of those we love. What better way to feature his art, and his imprint on all of us, then to share it with you.”
All artist profits from the newly launched Fug Yep Soundation, an organization created by Lucius to give financial aid to the Swift family and benefit MusiCares– the charitable wing of the Recording Academy – who helped Swift with many of his medical bills throughout his struggle with addiction, as well as Music Support UK who do similar work for musicians in Britain. Following Fug Yep Soundation No. 1 release on Dec 7, two shows will be held to celebrate the music of Richard Swift. Both shows go on-sale Friday, November 9th
Dec 9 Brooklyn, NY Rough Trade
Dec 13 Los Angeles, CAMasonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever