Sometime in 2012, Michelle Branch penned a song titled “City” that would prove to be chillingly prescient. She explains, “As my thirties approached, I realized, ‘Something needs to happen in my life.'” For a long time, I had been feeling like I was in a rut, but it wasn’t until I composed that song that I admitted it to myself. When I was very young, several significant events occurred in my life.
I was only 17 when I was discovered, and my debut album came out a month after I turned 18. I was 19 when I met my ex-husband, 20 when we got married, and 21 when we had our daughter. “City” is a song about my desire to leave my current situation. It was one of the earliest pieces of writing I did that I felt was genuine, and it served as a type of epiphany for me. After I finished singing it, I thought, “Oh, here we go.”
Since writing “City,” which serves as the album’s closer, Branch’s life has undergone dramatic transformations, and the song no longer accurately reflects Branch’s current reality on her upcoming album Hopeless Romantic. After going through a divorce, switching record companies, relocating from Los Angeles to Nashville, falling in love, and finally recording her dream album with producer and now-partner Patrick Carney of The Black Keys, this singer/songwriter/musician from Sedona, Arizona has accomplished a lot.
As would be expected, Hopeless Romantic features numerous love-themed tracks. The subject fascinates her. The title sums up the album perfectly, and I enjoy hearing stories about real people. Many of these songs deal with the pain of losing a loved one but also the knowledge that life goes on and that you will eventually find someone or something better.
Hopeless Romantic is the first autobiographical record that Branch has released. She admits, “Without much practical experience, my first record surely was written.” However, the love that is discussed on this album is that of an adult, not a teenager. The past few years have certainly been eventful. My last serious relationship was when I was a teenager! When Branch first signed with Maverick Records, she was only seventeen years old.
At a period when many young female singers were simply covering other people’s songs, the label was blown away by her evident songwriting talent, forceful vocal delivery, and precocious guitar abilities, and signed her after hearing her independently released album Broken Bracelet. The Spirit Room, which Branch released in 2001, sold two million copies in the United States thanks to the infectiously catchy and emotionally resonant singles “Everywhere” and “All You Wanted.” This marked the beginning of a new era in which young women took the lead in writing and performing their own music.
Branch’s follow-up, 2003’s Hotel Paper, debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard album list and quickly became her second platinum-selling disc in the United States. It gave rise to the smash hit “Are You Happy Now?,” which was shortlisted for a Grammy in the category of “Best Female Rock Performance.”
Branch’s other Grammy-winning work is on Carlos Santana’s “The Game of Love,” which peaked at No. 5 on the Hot 100 and stayed at the top of Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart for weeks. As a member of the modern country group The Wreckers, Branch gained success with their 2006 debut album Stand Still, Look Pretty. Branch received her fourth Grammy nomination for the gold-certified album, which featured the smash track “Leave the Pieces,” which topped the Hot Country Songs chart for several weeks. (In 2003, she also received a Best New Artist nomination.)
Branch says of her successful career, “It all seems like it was another lifetime.” But now that I’m 33, I can reflect on my past successes with a sense of satisfaction. In the sense of, “Okay, I managed to accomplish that. This is now out of the way. She continued to write music even after her 2010 EP, Everything Comes and Goes, was her last release (including several with her friend Amy Kuney, many of which appear on Hopeless Romantic).
At a Grammy after-party in February 2015, Branch chatted with Patrick Carney for quite some time about her music. “He asked, “You haven’t released any songs in a long time; what gives? She recalled, “I’ve always adored your voice. Branch provided him several demos, and he and the producer started brainstorming ideas for the album’s sound. “I declared, “I’m a guitarist and a composer.
Actually, it’s not that hard to do. I’d like to join a group and work on a project that will allow me to perform live. I’d rather not do everything on a computer. When I told Patrick, he got it right away. For him, I believe, it took on the significance of a cause: “We’re going to find this out, and I’m going to help you.”
The musician Gus Seyffert, who has performed with The Black Keys and Beck, joined Branch and Carney on stage as a bassist and other instruments in June of 2015. They hunkered down in Seyffert’s Silver Lake, California, studio. It was a three-way jukebox, with Branch, Stump, and Branches each getting a turn. Patrick gave me a guitar and said, “Here, you play it,” on the first day we worked on the song “Carry Me Home,” and I said, “No, it’s okay.”
It’s in your hands; go ahead and play. And he firmly said, “No, Michelle. From what I can tell, you’re used to having other people play guitar for you or not being given the opportunity to learn the instrument on your own. You are the expert on how to properly play your record collection. To strum a guitar, of course! When I identified the two individuals who were going to have my back on this record, I remember leaving the studio that first day and bouncing out of there.
Branch claims this is the first album she’s ever made that sounds like music she genuinely listens to, and it’s a confident, upbeat rock effort as a consequence. Patrick remarked, “No one would ever realise that you listen to indie-rock or that you have this understanding of rock music, but you do and you’re enthusiastic about it.” after I mentioned my appreciation for Beach House and Jenny Lewis. People keep asking me, “Why don’t you make an album like that?”
Michelle Branch was arrested for domestic assault, Nashville police confirm to Variety. Her arrest took place after she revealed her split from her husband of three years, “The Black Keys” drummer Patrick Carney. https://t.co/0XCNo1oyue
— Variety (@Variety) August 12, 2022
All of these songs on this album are about relationships, and the production values reflect that. In “Fault Line,” Branch sings of his desire for a relationship to succeed despite his realisation that it is beyond repair, and in “Best You Ever,” he has the final say on a former flame. ‘You don’t realize how nice you have it.’ felt good to say. You’ll see that in retrospect someday. She explains, “I think a lot of individuals feel that way after a breakup. Branch explains that “Heartbreak Now” is about someone who “knows you’re not good for me yet can’t stop thinking about you.” “I aimed for the totally obsessive tone,” the author says.
While working on Hopeless Romantic, Branch and Carney recognised they had more than platonic affections for one another. Forever, “Carry Me Home” will bring her back to those early studio sessions, when she had no idea she was setting in motion a chain of events that would alter her life forever.
I told my sister, “I think I’ve just met the love of my life. I don’t know if it was the mentorship or the music itself, but she says she’s never had a connection to somebody like that before. As cliche as it may sound, I think there’s a reason for everything that goes down. It feels like fate that I found the love of my life at the same time I released an album of which I am so immensely proud.
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