Recorded in 2011 in a dusty, beloved barn, Even Your Drums Will Die is a time machine, a real one, to a moment packed thick with Richard Swift’s singular, crackling liveliness. Where Swift’s studio recordings are marked by texture, tone and mood, Even Your Drums Will Die puts a spotlight on Swift’s voice, his lyrics and his songwriting.
Running through all of Swift’s tunes is a certain agitation — a fidgetiness, a restlessness. It’s clearer than ever now, over two years after Swift’s passing, that he used his music to let a little pressure out of his tire. “Ballad of Milton Feher” nods to all this, its namesake coming from the professional dancer and director who taught his students to release their “habits of tension.” The song feels like a skeleton key to Swift’s oeuvre, a clear look into the wild wheels spinning inside his big old artist noggin. On the flipside is “Lady Luck”. The classic. The revived ghost of a lost 45 that never existed, or maybe always did, but that only Richard Swift could make real.
If you know these songs, you will find them set alight here. If you don’t, Even Your Drums Will Die is an incomparable snapshot of both art and artist. It is a genie, a real one, let loose from the lamp with Richard Swift’s explosive energy, imagination and mischief.
A1. The Ballad of You Know Who
A2. The Novelist
A3. Looking Back, I Should Have Been Home
A4. The Million Dollar Baby
A5. The Songs of National Freedom
B1. The Original Thought
B2. The Ballad of Old What’s His Name
B3. The First Time
B4. A Song for Milton Feher
B5. Lady Luck