So what do you do when you come across an artist who hits the ground running after a break from doing music with songwriting like this? You put your own nose to your own grindstone and hope that you too can take storytelling clarity, mix it effortlessly with 'I've never heard it said like that' metaphor, and come up with anything that sounds like Erin Ash Sullivan’s recent collection of perfect, evocative, little movies. Well, that’s what I want to do."

-vance gilbert

The second solo album by New England-based songwriter, musician, and vocalist Erin
Ash Sullivan, Signposts and Marks features songs that showcase Erin’s storytelling
prowess and her ability to shine a light on the small moments that reveal our humanity.
Doug Kwartler produced the bluegrass-infused album at Hollow Body Studios in
Chelmsford, MA.

Signposts and Marks captures a time in Sullivan’s life when she is fully enmeshed in a
web of relationships–as a mother, a daughter, a wife, a sister, a friend–and the songs
explore how we preserve our individuality even as we disappear in our connections to
others. In “Goat on a Stone Wall” and “Nobody’s Business,” Erin looks at the
complexity of long-term love and the sacrifices we make (or don’t make) for our
partners (“It’s nobody’s business but yours and mine/No one needs to know/about the
push and the pull/and the hairs that we split all too fine”). A trilogy of tunes at the end
of the album (“We Walk the Flats,” “How It Should Be,” and “Before You Go”) reflect
on being a parent and the bittersweet feelings of watching a child grow and become
independent (“I know you’re ready/But how can I get ready/it’s harder than you

Throughout, Sullivan spins small moments into fully-realized stories. “One Time I
Stole A Book”
tells a true tale of her grandparents that touches on what it means to
enter adulthood (“How do you know if it’s an ending or a spark?/Give us grace to know
the signposts and the marks”). And “Eat the Pie” (another true tale that Sullivan is
happy to tell you about in great detail) is a feel-good story about a Fourth of July pie
eating contest that turns into an anthem for pursuing your dreams and disregarding the
naysayers (“Would I let other people’s shoulds and shouldn’ts riddle me with doubt/
Would I give in to what was safe and let the whole world count me out/Don’t count me

Poignant, absorbing, and occasionally goofy, Sullivan’s songs are intensely
personal while also managing to highlight experiences and emotions that we all share.

Released to radio stations on June 25, Signposts and Marks landed at #22 for Top Folk Albums on the FAI Folk DJ Chart for the month of June after only five days of airplay. "Goat on a Stone Wall," which was pre-released as a single at the end of May, hit #8 on the Top Folk Singles chart for June. The album will be available on all streaming platforms July 26.

Signposts and Marks could be called ‘new nostalgic’, but what comes to mind more clearly is ‘timeless.’


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