After the release of Throwing Muses' fifth album, Red Heaven, Kristin Hersh, the band's lead singer/songwriter, took a break from the group and issued her first solo album, the acoustic Hips and Makers, in early 1994. Thanks to the airplay the single "Your Ghost" -- a duet with R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe -- received, the album sold more copies than any of the Muses' releases. Later that year, Hersh also released the Strings EP, which featured versions of selected songs from the album recorded with a string quartet, and did a solo tour. Despite her success as a solo artist, she kept the Muses going as well, releasing their next record, University, in February 1995. Throwing Muses and Hersh as a solo artist moved from Sire to Rykodisc, forming the boutique label Throwing Music in 1996; the label's first release was the final Muses album, Limbo, which appeared that summer. Before the Muses hit the road in support of Limbo, Hersh began work on her second solo album, wrapping it up in early 1997.