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::Michelle Branch::


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Behind the Music
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The girl behind the music

All about Michelle!

There is so much pre-fab, pre-packaged musical fiction going on these days, that it's a blessing and a relief to discover a young artist who was born to share her old soul. "There's a love affair going on," Michelle says, "between me and music."

Nobody cranks out stacks of obvious, lifeless lyrics for Michelle Branch. There's no one telling the eighteen-year-old how to move, what to wear, or what to sing about. Nobody writes her songs for her. At a time when young people are force-fed so much pap-pop, Michelle's music is a deep breath of fresh honesty.

As far back as she can remember, songs have always danced around in Michelle's head. When she picked up the guitar at 14, words and music tumbled out of her like she couldn't help it. Where does it come from? "I don't really know," Michelle says, amazed, "Music has always been in me. When I sing, I have a sense of peace, I feel like my brain turns off, and I become the core person of who I am -- the essence of me. I feel connected to whatever is out there. It's almost like I leave my body and get to watch."

Cause you're everywhere to me,
and when I close my eyes it's you I see,
you're everything I know that makes me believe,
I'm not alone,
Cause you're everywhere to me,
and when I catch my breath,
it's you I breathe,
you're everything I know that makes me believe,
I'm not alone

Some of Michelle's shimmering songs come from dreams. "Sometimes I wake up and get confused about where I am, I'm not sure if I'm asleep or awake. I have dreams when I write an entire song, chords and everything. I wake up and hope I can remember the dream-song, and find that I've already written it all down, and I just pick up the guitar and play it." Is it sleepwalking? Sleepwriting, perhaps? "I don't know," she smiles, "It's a mystery."

Michelle feels the connection to John Shanks, the producer of her record, (Melissa Etheridge, BB Mak, SR-71, Chris Isaak ) is a magical one. "Once you write a song, it's really personal. The song is your baby, you watch it grow, and then you let it go. When we were in the studio, I immersed myself in it -- idea after idea just flowed," she recalls, "John was so inspiring."

Michelle hopes to inspire people the way the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin inspired her. "If God had a voice, it would belong to Robert Plant," she declares, "and Jimi Hendrix is so honest when he sings. The cool thing about the Beatles is that they created music that makes you feel the lyrics. When you listen to "Here Comes the Sun," you can just feel the sun's rays. In "She's Leaving Home," "I feel the parent's hearts breaking. I want to give back to people what I get from the music I love."

Michelle already gets letters from young aspiring singer/songwriters. "I hope I can inspire people my age to play music," Michelle says, "There are so many "put together" musical acts today, younger girls write and tell me -- "they all dance and sing and look so perfect, and it's so hard to watch them, then I heard your music and now I'm writing songs." I hope that continues. I want to be able to speak truth and make a difference. Even though you can't see it or grasp it, most people know love is out there. My album is about love -- songs about what people believe in."