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The 6ths

The 6ths certainly are a side project from the Magnetic Areas’ Stephin Merritt, who produced and wrote all the materials on 1995’s Wasps’ Nest, in addition to playing a lot of the music. He just sang among the songs, however, giving all the staying lead vocal slot machines to alternative rock and roll faves like Barbara Manning, Dean Wareham (Luna), Georgia Hubley (Yo La Tengo), Chris Knox, Lou Barlow, Robert Scott (the Bats), Chris Knox, and Mary Timony (Helium). Brighter and poppier than his contemporaneous attempts with Magnetic Areas, it exhibited (intentionally or inadvertently) that his primary talents are like a maker and composer, rather than performer. Warm on the pumps from the well-received Magnetic Areas project 69 Like Tunes, Merritt released his second 6ths recording, Hyacinths and Thistles, with vocal help from Marc Almond, Bob Mould, Gary Numan, and Sarah Cracknell, amongst others.

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