Kelsea Ballerini is jumping heartfirst into the future—not the past.
As the singer prepares to release Rolling Up the Welcome Mat (For Good)—an extended version of her February EP—on Aug. 11, she's bracing for fans' reactions to the new music, which was written last year amid her divorce from her husband of five years Morgan Evans.
In fact, she has a "favor" to ask fans: Don't rehash her breakup with the country singer or dissect the new lyrics too much.
"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," Ballerini wrote on Instagram Aug. 2, "not dig back into the experience that it was written about nearly a year ago."
While she is "proud and protective" over the new music as a songwriter and performer, Ballerini noted that she's "also proud and protective of the new, happy season of life i'm in" on a more personal level.
The 29-year-old added, "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). am i right?"
Since her split from Evans, Ballerini has embarked on a personal healing journey, including striking up a romance with Outer Banks star Chase Stokes. The pair went red carpet official in April, four months after they were first linked publicly.
Ballerini's forthcoming track "How Do I Do This" may shed new light on their romance and "bring the story more up to date," she teased in her Instagram post.
"'It's kinda scary opening a wound that time has mended'…but this unexplainably transformative welcome mat had one last bit of rolling up to do," she added, explaining why she decided to release a new version of her EP. "it's most important that i articulate that this re-release is for you and you only."
Released Feb. 14, Rolling Up the Welcome Mat gave a glimpse into Ballerini's split from Evans and how she was coping at the time.
On "Penthouse," she sang about "playing home" in their apartment: "We played the part five nights, but we were never there on the weekends, baby / We got along real nice, but when I left town, did you hate me?"
Then, in "Blindsided," Ballerini wrote about the fallout and what went wrong.
"And now you're saying that you're lost, and that's lost on me / Years of sitting across from me in therapy," she sang on the track, "I know the truth is hard to hear, but it wasn't hard to find / Baby, were you blindsided or were you just blind?"
At the time of the EP's release, Evans said her lyrics weren't true to what really went down between them. "It's really sad for me to see this person," he wrote on social media, "who I spent so much of my life with, and loved with all my heart, saying things that aren't reality and that leave out what really happened."
Rolling Up the Welcome Mat (For Good) drops Aug. 11.