Kelsea Ballerini Drops Surprise EP and Short Film
At midnight (2/14), Kelsea Balleri released a surprise EP. There are six songs on Rolling Up the Welcome Mat and an accompanying short film. The project reflects the last several months in Ballerini’s life, including a divorce from her husband of five years, Morgan Evans.
Kelsea teamed with frequent collaborator Alysa Vanderheym, and the pair co-produced and co-wrote three songs on “Rolling Up The Welcome Mat.” Ballerini wrote the other three songs alone.
Kelsea said in a statement about the project, “I wasn’t worried about anything other than presenting the songs as honestly as possible. Most of them started with me and my guitar.” She added, “I was writing by myself for most of the project, and it was nice to trust myself again. The only way I’ve been able to handle my life since I was 12 was to write about it. Ironically, I started writing music because my parents got divorced; that was my therapy. Rolling Up The Welcome Mat was how I processed everything. It’s the way I got my feelings out of my body and heart and put them to music, which is the purest way I could’ve handled it.”
Ballerini wrote and co-directed the 20-minute short film. The film sets the mood for the six songs on the EP. In one scene, Kelsea, who shows her acting skills in the movie, has dirty dishes stacking up in her arms as she describes the weight of a relationship, then feels the widening gulf in her shared bed. In the end, she’s alone with a guitar in a half-packed closet, singing one more before she heads out.
Kelsea posted to Instagram, “six songs. one short film. all rolling up at midnight, valentine’s day.”
Many fans reacted to the post, including one who wrote, “Loved this and felt it.” Another fan commented, “THIS WAS AMAZING!!!!! (heart emoji) you did not need to explain yourself! But I’m so glad you did!!! Bc I loved this so much!!!!!! Your healing is complete.” One more fan said, “This EP is phenomenal, Kelsea.”
Later she posted, “here’s my healing journey. here’s my heart. here’s my truth. i’ve never been this open, I’ve never been this bold, and I’ve never been this proud of my art., so with love and respect, I’m rolling up the welcome mat. six-song story and short film out now. happy valentine’s day.”
The EP, in which each song is represented in the short film, tracklist:
1. Mountain With A View
2. Just Married
6. Leave Me Again