Duchess is the debut full-length record from Ugly Beauty (Atlantic) and Cell (Geffen) founders Christy Schnabel and Jerry Di Rienzo. After several years touring with bands like Built to Spill, Come and Blonde Redhead, landing songs on various film and television soundtracks, and appearing with Wilco on HBO’s Reverb, Schnabel took time off from music to write a novel chronicling her major label trial by fire. Upon finishing the book — due in December, 2005 — Schnabel sequestered herself in a downtown L.A. practice space with a Fender guitar, a 57 mic, a primitive 8-track and two ten-pound bags of oranges. A week later the skeletons of ten songs emerged, later becoming the Duchess record. The album is Schnabel’s vision: she writes all the songs, plays all the guitars, and sings all the vocals. Her voice, compared in the indie rags to Hope Sandoval and Patti Smith, defines the band.