Kelsea Ballerini is releasing a special new EP, Rolling Up The Welcome Mat, today (Feb. 14).
The Valentines gift for fans features an intimate set of songs that measures the most personal aspects of her last few years. Working with frequent collaborator Alysa Vanderheym, the pair co-produced and co-wrote three tracks on Rolling Up The Welcome Mat. Ballerini wrote the other three on her own, committed to sorting through her life completely on her own terms.
“I wasn’t worried about anything other than presenting the songs as honestly as possible,” says Ballerini. “Most of them started with me and my guitar. 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.”
From the opening chords of the moody “Mountain With A View,” a whispery self-examination of doubt and letting go, to the realization of “Penthouse,” the churning “Blindsided,” and the vulnerability of “Leave Me Again,” the project refracts the reality of so many people who face what they were told they wanted turning out not to be what they truly desired in the end.
To accompany the new EP, Ballerini wrote and directed a short film alongside co-director Patrick Tracy that takes a deeper dive into the emotions that went into Rolling Up The Welcome Mat. Filmed in a white, minimalist environment, the film is available on YouTube.
Ballerini will launch the second leg of her “Heartfirst Tour” on March 6 in Toronto and will visit cities throughout the Midwest and East Coast, closing out on March 18 in Pittsburgh.
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