David Freel, who led San Francisco psych band Swell through the '90s and '00s, died on April 12 in Oregon City. He was 64. Stereogum points out that the news was shared today via Swell's Facebook page: "David led with spontaneous curiosity and an appreciation for the world around him, always learning more, he even learned how to surf. His final released project ¡¡ GREASY !! of Be My Weapon was an example of his eccentric genius as a musician."
Former Swell bassist Monte Vallier wrote a lengthy tribute to David, saying in part, "The Swell days were some of the best ones of my life, also the most challenging. What held me there was the gravitational pull of David. I was lucky to be one of the planets in his orbit." You can read the whole post below.
Swell formed in 1989 in San Francisco with a dusty, bluesy psych sound that fit in alongside groups like Flaming Lips and Mercury Rev. They toured with Mazzy Star in 1990 and signed to Rick Rubin's Def American label, who gave their second album, …Well?, a wider release, and then put out the band's third album, 41, in 1994. Swell also released albums on Beggars Banquet and Badman Recording Company in the '90s and '00s.
Rest in peace, David. Listen to some of Swell's music, and read tributes from fellow artists below.