Kelsea Ballerini’s new project, Rolling Up the Welcome Mat, is about her divorce from Morgan Evans. In it she tells how difficult it was for her. The country singer-songwriter released the six-song EP and heartbreaking short film on the same day, Tuesday.
In the short, Ballerini contemplates the end of her marriage and struggles to talk to a romantic partner about how she feels. Ballerini said in a statement that Rolling Up the Welcome Mat is the next installment of her most recent album, SUBJECT TO CHANGE, due out in 2022.
“When I listen to SUBJECT TO CHANGE, I hear a lot of self-reflection and unrest. This is the deep dive into that turmoil,” said the Grammy nominee, 29. “I wrote most of the project on my own and it was nice to trust myself again.”
She then said that her music came from writing, which she did as a way of coping with hard times. “From the age of 12, writing about my life was the only way I could deal with it. In a strange way, my parents’ divorce was the reason I started writing music,” continued Ballerini’s statement.
“Here are six songs I wish I had last year. It’s about how hard it is to deal with big changes in your life when you’re young,” she said of the job. “I have thought about everything carefully Roll up the welcome mat.
That’s how I took my feelings out of my body and heart and turned them into music, which was the most honest way I could have dealt with it.” The EP is full of lyrics about her breakup with Evans, and the first track, “Mountain with a View”, shows her breaking point during the time they were apart.
In the chorus, Ballerini, who married Evans when she was 24, sings, “I still wear the ring, but I think I’m lying.” Sometimes you forget yours. I think we’ve given up.” “I know you loved me a lot more when I was 23. I think this is the end for me.”
In the second track, “Just Married,” the musician realizes she was just going through the motions in her marriage after the love faded: “It was a beautiful wedding/Sometimes I still taste the Veuve/And damn, I wish that I wasn’t done this/Undo I do.”
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In the third track, “Penthouse,” Ballerini sings about moving into a posh city apartment after her marriage broke up and kissing “someone new”: “It hurts to put s— in a box, and now we’re talking not. It hurts to roll up the welcome mat knowing you have half.
The next song, “Interlude”, is written as a diary entry and is about how fans found out about the breakup and how the public spoke about it. Ballerini sings, “There’s a thin line between love and hate / And it was love, but it wasn’t fate.”
“There are rumors, but the truth is quite complicated. I would like to set things right, but my lawyer tells me not to.” The fifth track of the project is called ‘BlindSided’. In it, the singer-songwriter wonders if her partner really didn’t see the breakup coming.
Ballerini sings about how they were different: “You say you’re lost but I don’t believe you / You didn’t want to leave the house and I didn’t want a family.” “I know the truth is hard to hear, but it wasn’t hard to find. Honey, were you caught off guard or were you just blind?
Rolling Up the Welcome Mat ends with a song called “Leave Me Again”. It sounds like Ballerini wrote it after the breakup, and it’s about what her ex is doing now.
But the main message is that Ballerini, even though she’s hurt, has found herself and she doesn’t want to give that up: “For a while the shoe fit, but then I outgrew it. By staying I could only pretend very well. So I hope I never leave me.”
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