It’s hard work being a Michelle Branch fan. In the eight years since her last solo record we’ve had to put up with dodgy Maxim cover shoots, shotgun weddings, pregnancy, messageboard tantrums, a country duo, acrimonious break-up of said country duo just after we warmed to the whole idea, abortive bakery plans, endless album delays, naff Taylor Swift impressions, an ongoing Twitter obsession with chickens and, to top it all, an excruciating Mini ad campaign masquerading as an appalling Timbaland collaboration. Like I said – Hard. Fucking. Work.
But put up with it all we did, and put up with it all we will continue to do so, because at the heart of this whirling disappointment vortex strums a rather tremendous musician. As sad as it is that her planned solo country LP will never come to fruition – last summer’s six-track taster was a bit of a triumph – news that she’s returning to her pop-rock roots is literally music to my ears. She treated us to an acoustic preview of what could very possibly be her comeback single last month, and… well… it almost makes up for Jessica Harp, doesn’t it?
(The new album’s due in June. Almost believe her this time)