The success of Michelle Branch's 2001 album, The Spirit Room, and its hit "Everywhere" jump-started the 19-year-old singer/songwriter's career. Her performance on Santana's new single, "The Game of Love," is keeping her in the public eye so that when her sophomore album hits in March, Branch may, indeed, be everywhere.
"When I get through with promotion with Carlos I am going to go home and relax and finish making the new record," she said, smiling (see "Santana Says Angels Recommended Michelle Branch For Song").
Why shouldn't she be calm? Branch already has six songs written for the disc, including the reflective ballad "Standing on the Edge," which she has regularly performed in concert. And she's got a game plan for the rest of the album, which won't necessarily reflect the tone or mood of her debut.
"The whole overall feel of the record is more organic," she said. "It's acoustic at times, but it also rocks a little more in certain parts. I think I've done some growing up, so the way I'm writing and the chords I'm using, it's all changed."
John Shanks, who worked on The Spirit Room (as well as albums by Melissa Etheridge and Chris Isaak) will again produce for Branch, but the chanteuse is also lining up a more unlikely cast of production assistants including Greg Wells, who has worked with Rufus Wainwright, and Josh Abraham, who has produced for Crazy Town and Limp Bizkit. And, if all goes well, Branch will also be hooking up with Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland.
"He would be producing a track or two," Branch said. "I am a huge fan of his, so I'm really excited to see what turns out."