Kelsea Ballerini has released a new EP, Rolling Up The Welcome Mat, and a short film of the same name.
The intimate six-song EP, available from Black River Entertainment/The Orchard, is a handful of postcards and polaroids from the life of the young Ballerini who’s captivated music lovers since the chart-topping “Love Me Like You Mean It.”
To accompany the music, Ballerini wrote and directed, alongside co-director Patrick Tracy, a short film that creates a deeper tableau and sense of the emotions that went into Rolling Up The Welcome Mat. Filmed in a white, minimalist environment, the film debuted on YouTube.
It leaves room for viewers to see their own lives, even as it provides an even deeper look into the country singer-songwriter’s own emotional journey.
“I wasn’t worried about anything other than presenting the songs as honestly as possible,” says the multiple Grammy nominee and Country Music Association award winner “Most of them started with me and my guitar.”
Easily her most intimate work yet, Ballerini delivers a very lean, vocal forward 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 songs on Rolling Up The Welcome Mat. Ballerini wrote the other three songs on her own, committed to sorting through her life completely on her own terms.
“I was writing by myself for most of the project, and it was nice to trust myself again,” Ballerini said about the new EP. “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,” she added. “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.”
Following a sold-out tour of the U.K., Ballerini will launch the second U.S. leg of her exclusive Heartfest Tour in March.
(Photo: Hannah Lux Davis)
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