By Rami Abou-Sabe

Michelle Branch has drifted out of the public eye recently. After her 2001 smash hit, “Everything,” the pop-rock singer toiled in label limbo for years. Branch attempted a country crossover with her band The Wreckers, but never gained any traction. Now the singer-songwriter is back with her first record since 2003’s Hotel Paper.

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Thanks to a chance encounter with Black Keys‘ drummer Patrick Carney, the singer-songwriter is set to make a comeback. Branch and Carney first met at a “douchey” L.A. party “where everyone was doing blow.” The duo connected over cheap beer and a general disdain for the debauchery. Carney questioned Branch on a lack of new music, and eventually offered to produce her next record.

“I was very curious as to why she hadn’t put out a record in a long time, and I offered, drunkenly, to help her,” Carney tells Rolling Stone.

Branch and Carney’s connection runs deeper than music. The pair started dating in 2015 while working on the record. Branch, who addresses the dissolution of her 11-year marriage on the record, recently moved into Carney’s Nashville home with her daughter.

The result of those 2015 sessions is Hopeless Romantic, due April 7th. The album was recorded with the help of Black Keys’ touring bassist Gus Seyffert. Check out the first single, “Best You Ever,” below.


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