Branch met Patrick Carney, drummer for The Black Keys, at a L.A. party in 2015. He became her producer and later on, her boyfriend. With Carney as her principal collaborator, Branch released Hopeless Romantic
, her first full length album for nearly 14 years through Verve Records, a Universal Music Group company. Branch recalled to Pop Crush
"What happened was I went to a Grammy party in February 2015 and I didn't really know anyone. Patrick had just broken his shoulder so he was not touring, he wasn't able to play drums. And he was sitting in the corner like, in a chair with his sling. And he was like, 'Michelle?' And he called me over and he was like, 'Why don't you have an album out?' And I was like, 'Well, how much time do you have?' And I think Patrick, he loves underdogs, he loves an underdog story. And he was basically like, 'I'm going to help you fix this. I'm going to help you figure this out."