Show Preview Steve Hammer Emily Wells Emily Wells Saturday-Sunday, April 22-23 Various locations Emily Wells isn’t afraid to admit she’s a little nervous about returning to Indianapolis. “I wouldn’t say I’m apprehensive about returning, but I’m like, ‘Uh-oh, here we go,’” she says. “I’m ready to come back.” After an absence of three years from performing in her hometown, the singer/songwriter is returning this weekend for a series of in-store appearances and an opening gig for Catie Curtis Sunday night. She’s been back to Indy several times in the past few years but hasn’t played. “When I go home, I give all my time and energy to my parents,” she says. “You’ve been away from your hometown and it’s kind of scary to return.” The 24-year-old Wells, hailed as a teen prodigy in the late 1990s, moved to Los Angeles when she was 19 and hasn’t looked back. She’s recorded and released many albums, some completely solo, others collaborations. She’s also honed her skills on other instruments. But for her Indianapolis show, Wells plans to stay in the present. “I have so much new material,” she says. “I’ve been writing like crazy for the last four months. I’ll be playing stuff that’s still in production, and plenty of stuff from [2005’s] Making Static. I might even throw in a few old songs.” In Los Angeles, Wells has been playing constantly and is planning a summer tour. But a lot of her time has been spent recording and re-recording her songs. “I’m a total studio freak,” she says. “I spend so much time in there.” Recently, Wells secured a deal to score an upcoming independent film. “It’s film noir with a modern edge. I’m playing all the instruments, all the string parts and glockenspiel and cool stuff like that. It’s really exciting.” Having finally freed herself from a publishing deal with Warner/Chappell Music, Wells can take on projects without legal entanglements. “It feels great to be free,” she says. “I feel like I’d love to score films and work as a musical director. I love the studio and I can play so many instruments. The instruments I can’t play, I have friends who can.” Signed to a development deal with Epic Records as a teen-ager, Wells found that the corporate lifestyle wasn’t for her. After several unsuccessful attempts by the label to make her a Jewel clone and to write hit singles, Epic parted ways with Wells. She then began her quest to make the perfect studio record, spending hundreds of hours and writing dozens and dozens of songs. Making Static, her most recent album, is her most accomplished work to date. It has an edge of seriousness and even mournfulness, as many of the songs were written after the death of a close family member. Wells will perform at the downtown Luna Music store at 3 p.m. Saturday, followed by a show at Indy CD & Vinyl in Broad Ripple at 7 p.m. The show with Curtis will take place at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Old Centrum, 520 E. 12th St. Advance tickets are $15 and are available at Luna Music, Indy CD & Vinyl, IRC Music in Castleton, Outward Bound or by phone at 317-227-7480. For more information on Wells, see emilywellsmusic.com or myspace.com/emilywells.