Kelsea Ballerini Reveals Release Date for the Extended Version of Her Heartbreaking EP

‘Rolling Up the Welcome Mat (For Good)’ will include new versions of three songs plus one brand new track.

Jackie Kolgraf
August 2, 2023

Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images

For Kelsea Ballerini, Valentine’s Day this year wasn’t all candy and flowers. The 29-year-old GRAMMY nominee released an emotionally-charged six-song EP along with a short film, diving deep into the pains of her recent divorce from Morgan Evans in a project titled Rolling Up the Welcome Mat.

Now, after teasing that there’s “more to the story,” she’s finally revealed the release date of Rolling Up The Welcome Mat (For Good). This extended version of the EP comes out August 11 and includes new versions of three songs — “Penthouse (Healed Version),” “Interlude (Full Length),” and “Blindsided (Yeah, Sure, Okay)” — plus the unreleased track “How Do I Do This.”

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“from the deepest and purest part of my heart, i ask that you help this be ours and let the music simply be the music, not dig back into the experience that it was written about nearly a year ago,” Kelsea wrote on social media. “as a songwriter, producer, artist i’m proud and protective of this EP, and as a woman and human also proud and protective of the new, happy season of life i’m in.

“my real hope is for us to continue growing, healing, and evolving together with acceptance and kindness (even when we unleash our inner fire breathing dragon singing the new versions of these songs).”

Kelsea Ballerini Rolling Up the Welcome Mat short film poster

“it’s most important that i articulate that this re-release is for you and you only,” Kelsea continued in her post. “the added outro’s that we ended up screamsinging nightly on tour, the lyric changes along a healing journey, hearing you very loudly explain that the INTERLUDE NEEDS TO BE A FULL SONG KELSEA COME ON. plus, a new song to bring the story more up to date.”

Kelsea has been hosting exclusive screenings of her Rolling Up The Welcome Mat short film, where she explained that “‘Leave Me Again’ was never the last song.”

In a statement released earlier in the year, Kelsea said that she viewed Rolling Up the Welcome Mat as a continuation of her album Subject to Change, which dropped in September 2022: “These are six songs I wish I had last year. It’s about the complexities of the feelings you go through during a massive shift at a young age. 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.”

Rolling Up the Welcome Mat includes the tracks “Mountain With A View,” “Just Married,” “Penthouse,” “Interlude,” “Blindsided,” and “Leave Me Again.”

The songs tell the story of their relationship hitting a breaking point, just going through the motions of marriage, moving house together, dealing with public discourse and rumors, and whether or not they saw the end coming. While none of the lyrics explicitly mention Morgan, they do hint at intimate moments like the couple’s wedding date and dividing up of assets.

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The 20-minute short film, written and directed by Kelsea alongside Patrick Tracy, illustrates each EP track further. “The only way I’ve been able to handle my life since I was 12 was to write about it,” she shared. “Ironically, I started writing music because my parents got divorced; that was my therapy.”