HARD ROCK CAFE ARTIST OF THE MONTH – Michelle Branch
When an artist achieves fame while still in their teens, it usually spells doom for any hope of a long-lasting career in the fickle world of popular music. One big hit and then they disappear as soon as the cuteness factor wanes. Michelle Branch has been a very conspicuous exception to this rule; which is why her career has been so fascinating to watch over the last 16 years.
Now a bonafide industry vet at the age of 33, Michelle’s career arc has consistently shown that she’s motivated by art over commerce. The runaway success of her debut pop hit, “Everywhere”, in 2001 marked the arrival of an artist with real musical depth and conviction rather than another young woman peddling pop product.
“A lot of huge things happened to me really young. I got signed at 17 and released my first album a month after I turned 18. I met my ex-husband when I was 19, got married at 20 and had a baby at 21”
Now she’s set to release her most fully-realized artistic statement yet with Hopeless Romantic – a rootsy, emotionally vulnerable album that is a clearer example of who Michelle Branch truly is than anything she’s ever released. The album drops on April 7th.
“My first album certainly was written without much real-life experience, but this album is about adult, messy love and not teenage love”
Produced with Patrick Carney (of Black Keys fame) at Gus Seyffert’s Los Angeles studio, Hopeless Romantic is a confident and surprisingly rockin’ effort that goes straight to the heart of Michelle’s love of indie rock and her undeniable skill with pop songcraft. Folks who only know Michelle from her early pop hits may be taken aback, but for those of us who’ve paid attention to her career it makes perfect sense. She’s always had one foot in the world of Americana and rock; Hopeless Romantic is in many ways the album we always knew she should be making, but just hadn’t quite realized. Now it’s here and it feels like she’s come home.
“I play guitar, I write my own music. It’s not that complicated. I want to get in with a band and make something I can get on stage and play. I don’t want to be doing all this on a computer”
That’s why we’re making Michelle Branch Hard Rock’s Artist of the Month for April 2017. We dig the hell out of her. You should too.