The intimate Rolling Up the Welcome Mat follows the singer-songwriter’s 2022 album Subject to Change
Kelsea Ballerini has a Valentine’s Day surprise for the lovers and brokenhearted alike, as the singer-songwriter just released her new Rolling Up the Welcome Mat EP and an accompanying short film. The project follows Ballerini’s 2022 album Subject to Change.
The intimate, six-song collection doesn’t explicitly mention her marriage and 2022 divorce from fellow artist Morgan Evans, but it’s clear those life-altering events have shaped these songs in numerous ways. In a song called “Just Married,” she notes, “It felt like forever that December 2,” her and Evans’ real-life wedding date, while “Penthouse” makes mention of shared living space on 8th Avenue and having to separate household items. By the EP’s end, she’s wishing the other person well, but giving herself a gentle reminder to never lose track of who she is again.
“Rolling Up the Welcome Mat was how I processed everything,” Ballerini said in a statement. “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.”
The 20-minute short film, which Ballerini wrote and co-directed with Patrick Tracy, gets at the mood of these new songs instead of trying to be a literal reenactment. Ballerini 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. It’s moving and intimate in a way that feels almost private. The film will also air commercial-free Tuesday on CMT.
Ballerini has a handful of North American headlining tour dates lined up for 2023, beginning with a March 6 stop in Toronto. Later this spring, she joins up with Kenny Chesney for the I Go Back Tour, with dates running through May.