Richard Swift: The Hex
Producer’s producer Richard Swift died from complications stemming from alcoholism in July shortly after completing The Hex, a richly textured, emotionally devastating solo magnum opus. Phil Spector’s wall of sound serves as a sonic template for an album whose three-track centerpiece—“Wendy,” “Sister Song” and “Nancy”—laments the deaths of his mother and sister. The title track reimagines Marvin Gaye as film-noir star, with Swift as a startlingly convincing soul singer reminiscent of Brazil’s Tim Maia. A sort of Seals and Croft-y soft-rock bubbles up in “Broken Finger Blues,” while the upbeat down-low ditty “Dirty Jim” suggests Harry Nilsson produced by Van Dyke Parks.