Kelsea Ballerini Details Reasons Behind Her Divorce with Heartbreaking Short Film: 'It Wasn't Fate'

"It's about the complexities of the feelings you go through during a massive shift at a young age," says Ballerini — who finalized her divorce from singer Morgan Evans last year — about her new project, Rolling Up the Welcome Mat

Kelsea Ballerini is getting vulnerable about her divorce from Morgan Evans on a new project titled Rolling Up the Welcome Mat.

The country singer-songwriter released the 6-track EP on Tuesday alongside a heart-tugging short film, which shows Ballerini contemplating the demise of her marriage as she struggles to voice her thoughts with a romantic partner.

In a statement, Ballerini described Rolling Up the Welcome Mat as the next chapter of her latest album, 2022's SUBJECT TO CHANGE.

"When I listen to SUBJECT TO CHANGE, I hear a lot of self-reflection and turmoil. This is the deep dive into that turmoil," said the Grammy nominee, 29. "I was writing by myself for most of the project, and it was nice to trust myself again."

Morgan Evans and Kelsea Ballerini attend the 57th Academy of Country Music Awards at Allegiant Stadium on March 07, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Morgan Evans and Kelsea Ballerini. Mike Coppola/Getty

She then noted that her musical origins stemmed from writing therapeutically through dark moments. "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," continued Ballerini's statement.

"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," she said of the project. "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."

The EP is laden with specific lyrics nodding toward her split from Evans, with opening track "Mountain with a View" revealing her breaking point amid time spent apart.

"I'm wearing the ring still / But I think I'm lying / Sometimes you forget yours / I think we're done trying," sings Ballerini — who wed Evans when she was 24 — on the chorus. "I realize you loved me much more at 23 / I think that this is when it's over for me."

Kelsea Ballerini
Kelsea Ballerini. Mary Kouw/CBS via Getty

"Just Married" is the second song, which finds the musician realizing she was going through the motions in their marriage once the love faded: "It was a beautiful wedding / Sometimes I still taste the Veuve / And dammit I wish I wasn't this ready / To undo I do."

On the third track, "Penthouse," Ballerini sings about moving out of their luxury city apartment and into their first house as her marriage crumbled, then and kissing "someone new": "It hurts putting s— in a box / And now we don't talk / And it stings rolling up the welcome mat / Knowing you got half."

The song is followed by a diary-entry-like track called "Interlude," on which she sings about fans discovering the breakup and the public discourse that surrounded it. "There's a thin line between love and hate / And it was love, but it wasn't fate," sings Ballerini. "Rumors going 'round, but the truth is kinda nuanced / I wanna set it straight, but my lawyer says I shouldn't."

65th GRAMMY Awards - Arrivals
Kelsea Ballerini. Getty

"Blindsided" is the project's fifth track, which finds the singer-songwriter wondering if her partner truly hadn't seen the end of their relationship coming.

"You're saying that you're lost, and that's lost on me / You didn't ever wanna leave the house, I didn't want a family," sings Ballerini of their differences. "I know the truth is hard to hear, but it wasn't hard to find / Baby, were you blindsided, or were you just blind?"

Rolling Up the Welcome Mat wraps with a track called "Leave Me Again," seemingly written after the breakup, that sees Ballerini musing about what her ex is currently doing.

But the biggest message is that even through her heartache, she's found herself — something Ballerini makes clear she's no longer willing to compromise: "For a while the shoe fit / But then I outgrew it / And staying only made me get real good at pretend / So, I hope I never leave me again."

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