The 6ths is a band created by Stephin Merritt, also the prime mover behind The Magnetic Fields, The Gothic Archies and Future Bible Heroes.
One story has it that the band was conceived when Merritt, observing that there was no tribute album dedicated to him, decided to make one himself. The concept is that Merritt writes songs which are then played and sung by other artists, different ones on each track. It has so far produced two well-received albums and many bizarre collabarations.
The list of singers on Wasps' Nests reads like a veritable Who's Who of mid 90s indie rock starpower, including Barbara Manning, Mary Timony, Dean Wareham (Galaxie 500, Luna), Lou Barlow, Robert Scott (The Bats, The Clean), and Mark Robinson.
Some of the more notable artists appearing on Hyacinths and Thistles are Bob Mould, Sally Timms (The Mekons), Neil Hannon (The Divine Comedy), Gary Numan, Marc Almond, Clare Grogan (Altered Images), Miss Lily Banquette (Combustible Edison) and the accomplished toy piano player Margaret Leng Tan.