Ballerini’s EP centers on honesty, vulnerability


Carley Nail, Arts & Entertainment Editor

Heartbreak and failed love aren’t easy to live through. Maybe that’s why Kelsea Ballerini decided to sing through it instead.

Country singer Kelsea Ballerini released her EP “Rolling Up the Welcome Mat” last month. Since then, the EP has received attention for detailing all aspects that went into the end of her marriage. 

“Rolling Up the Welcome Mat” overflows with honesty and vulnerability, leaving authenticity buried within the lyrics. She effortlessly explains the details of her marriage’s end in an understanding way. 

The problems that Ballerini faced in her previous marriage are ones that many women face in their romantic relationships. Being able to vocalize how so many women feel through her own experience is a powerful thing.

The EP features six songs—each one about a different phase in her relationship when she realized it was failing.

“Mountain View” introduces the feeling of doubt that steps in when your significant other doesn’t care for you the way you care for them. Ballerini confesses that this song illustrates when the relationship was truly over for her.

It’s a delicate start to a heartfelt album and sets the stage well for the upcoming songs in the EP. It thoroughly explains Ballerini’s feelings, making the listeners feel as though they know her whole situation.

“Just Married” might be the saddest song on this album. The lyrics focus on how the love in their marriage has faded away. The marriage that she had doesn’t feel real anymore, and she felt held back from her potential.

With the song’s beautifully crafted lyrics, Ballerini’s vocals shine through. Her pain transcends the lyrics, so much so that you can hear the ache in her voice.

Each song on the EP has its list of hard-hitting lyrics. I’m almost shocked at every song with how open she is. The amount of effort and emotion put into this EP is shown through every single song, making each one a hit.

It would be remiss to write about Ballerini’s EP without mentioning her short film. The artist released the 20-minute short film on YouTube, along with the music videos for each of her songs. 

While “Rolling Up the Welcome Mat” intricately describes the relationship falling apart, the short film shows it. The video subtly displays situations that happen when you realize your relationship is coming to an end. 

In her song “Blindsided,” Ballerini says, “Were you blindsided, or were you just blind?” She’s implying that there were signs leading up to their failed marriage, but her ex-husband simply wasn’t paying attention. 

This same concept is prevalent in her short film. If you aren’t paying close attention, you might not fully understand the importance of the scenes and how they relate to the couple’s fallout.

“Rolling Up the Welcome Mat” gives a level of personal truth that many artists avoid, but while doing so, it shows the deep emotions one can go through at the end of a relationship. 

Every song on this EP has a clear purpose, making it a beautifully composed work that showcases true vulnerability.