Kelsea Ballerini drops her latest EP, “Rolling Up the Welcome Mat”

Kelsea Ballerini drops her latest EP

The singer-songwriter released the EP about her past relationship this Valentine's Day.
Published: March 3, 2023 | Updated: March 21st, 2023 at 10:22 am
Kelsea Ballerini's
Kelsea Ballerini's latest EP, "Rolling Up The Welcome Mat" was released on Feb. 14.

Country music is all about speaking your truth. It’s also about storytelling. In her recent surprise EP and short film, Rolling Up the Welcome Mat, released on February 14, Kelsea Ballerini tells her truth and the story of her recent divorce with country artist, Morgan Evans

Ballerini released her debut album in 2015. In September 2022, she released her fifth studio album, Subject to Change, an album about being positive about new changes in her life, while going through a public divorce. But it wasn’t exactly about healing and moving on. Rolling Up the Welcome Mat was Ballerini’s way to do that.  

The six-track EP starts with a reflection of Ballerini being alone during her marriage. In “Mountain With A View” she sings, “I realize you loved me much more at 23/ I think that this is when it’s over for me” showing the parallels between her song and her ex-husband’s emotional “Over for you,” where he asks basically when was the marriage over, as if he didn’t expect the divorce. Ballerini’s song candidly shares her breaking point during her marriage and elegantly shifts to the second song “Just Married” which describes going through the emotions of realizing a marriage isn’t working.

Kelsea Ballerini's short film for
Ballerini also released a short film by the same name to accompany the EP.

Track 3, “Penthouse,” is a song of raw emotion and feeling. Through the lyrics, Ballerini shows that celebrities are private people too; they don’t show what happens in their life 24/7. In photographs, Evans and Ballerini looked happy but in the song, she explains she paid for everything, slept on the couch and gave it all up in the divorce and realizes she is better off alone. 

As the EP continues, Ballerini opens up and tells a more personal story. The connection of loss, love and acceptance is what makes this EP so relatable. “Interlude” shows the mental journey after a big event whereas “Blindsided” questions the fact that one person will always play the “victim” in a situation. Finally, she ends with “Leave Me Again,” a song where she vows to never lose herself again in a relationship. Ending the EP with this song was also a way to show that she doesn’t have any ill-will towards him and she hopes he gets the life he deserves – without her.

Ballerini also dropped a 20-minute short film with the same name. Co-written and co-directed with Ballerini’s frequent collaborator, Patrick Tracy, the entire thing is a work of art.  The viewer feels like they’re still in the midst of Ballerini figuring out how she feels in real-time. But she finally ends with showing her fans that it’s okay to rebuild and that healing is possible after a life changing event, like divorce. 

While this EP was really to help Ballerini move on, fans have taken to TikTok to show support and won’t allow her to forget about this music or event. On tour Ballerini is now playing these songs and continuing to share her story and allowing others to relate with her emotions. Truth, honesty, storytelling and emotion are what fans are connecting with and that’s what country music is all about. Ballerini was honest with her feelings and her story and that’s why Rolling Up the Welcome Mat is a masterpiece.