She signed with Maverick Records
and began co-writing with John Shanks, a former member of Melissa Etheridge
's band who had since moved into production. Together, the two wrote "Everywhere," which became Branch's first hit single in 2001. Released that summer, her debut album quickly produced two more hits, including the Top Ten single "All You Wanted." While working on a second album, Branch found time to collaborate with Santana
on "The Game of Love," which became the lead single for Santana
's 2002 album Shaman. "The Game of Love" peaked at number five and eventually won a Grammy Award, while "Are You Happy Now?" -- the first song from Branch's sophomore album, Hotel Paper -- maintained her presence on the charts in early 2003.
Like The Spirit Room, Hotel Paper went platinum and spawned two Top 40 singles. While touring in support of the album, Branch became engaged to her bass player, Teddy Landau, and the two married in May 2004. One year later, she launched a country side project with her backup singer, Jessica Harp
. Initially calling themselves the Cass County Homewreckers
, the two eventually trimmed down their name to the Wreckers
and released an album, Stand Still, Look Pretty, in 2006. The album went gold, due in large part to the lead single "Leave the Pieces," which topped the country charts.
went their separate ways in 2007, with both musicians returning to their own careers. Branch spent several years writing songs and making guest appearances on other albums (including Chris Isaak
's Mr. Lucky) before issuing a short EP, Everything Comes and Goes, in 2010. Over the next three years, she worked on an album called West Coast Time, but the album never materialized. Branch left Maverick
in 2015, signing with Verve
that year. With the assistance of producers Gus Seyffert (Beck
) and Patrick Carney (best known as the drummer of the Black Keys
), she worked on her first album for Verve
throughout 2016, releasing Hopeless Romantic in March 2017. ~ Andrew Leahey, Rovi