About this album

The river is moving

The Blackbird must be flying

Wallace Stevens: Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird

An album of ethereal dreampop / ambient-folk fusion with an eclectic array of instruments, indigenous / acoustic to classical or electronic, with vocals & mandolin. Guest musicians include Caerwyn Martin on cello, Samantha Watkins on flute and Soundwood Strings quartet with violinist George Vi courtesy of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

Ariel spans four Australian studios, courtesy of Brett Taylor, Lindsay Buckland, Harry Williamson and Sean Bowley (founder of legendary darkwave band, Eden, that released great music on the US label Projekt).

Themes include the lure of a will o’ the wisp and an ancient seafather with pearls for eyes.

Some song-titles are “Red Balloon” and “The Garden of Live Flowers”, inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland.

There is also tribute to Nick Drake, in  “Salamander” – the elemental who lives in fire.

“And your cards are all blowing away in a Marmalade Parade’’ (Louisa’s lyrics, in the song “Alice in the Garden of Live Flowers”):

Marmalade, a pun on the musical term “jam”, irreverently upturns the gravy train, the industry loop in which everyone but the artist cashes in on the produce. “The Queen was in the parlour, eating bread and honey” –  so goes the old nursery rhyme – but Alice wasn’t intimidated by royalty: “You are only a pack of cards!”

Flowers speak, petals scatter, birds steal souls.

Out in the ocean, under coral reefs, an ancient seagod roars. The world is alive and awake.


Tracks & Lyrics

#1. Blackbird

Duration: 4:21

Original title: ‘Thoughts of a Blackbird’

Music / Lyrics: Mark Krol / Louisa John-Krol

String Quartet arranged / conducted by Brett Taylor

Come blackbird and take my soul away

You won’t keep your vagabond at bay

Your fortress hangs heavy in the tree:

Come blackbird and take the soul of me



Who will listen into your lore?

Will the echo follow your call?

Who will listen while you’re waiting by the wooden door?

#2. Red Balloon

Duration: 7:21

Music / Lyrics: Mark Krol / Louisa John-Krol

Produced by Brett Taylor

Time to climb the mountain

my Name is calling, my Name is calling,

there’s the mountain!

mind torrent, boat fallen

nine doors and windows, I see

circles in the sky

shedding death’s desire

drum the fire on a maze of stairs and wire


You try and deliver Art onto a spoon

but in my balloon I drift into the Moon…

you climb all those mountains of lucidity

but in my balloon I drift into the Moon…


Free to ride the moment

my Bars are broken,

my Bars are broken,

gates are open!

bridges burning, eagle turning

circles in the sky

wings caress the stars

drum the fire on a maze of stairs and wire

#3. Numb the Wren Tear

Duration: 6:26

Song of the Wren

Music / Lyrics: Mark Krol / Louisa John-Krol / Brett Taylor

Climb the Ocean

Set the Snow on Fire

Charm the Water

Blind Man and the Star


Move the River

Comet and the Horn

Kiss the Shadow

New Moon on the Morn


Numb the Wren Tear…. long before

Dim the Rim Meer…. warn the Foe

Numb the Wren Tear…. calm the Call

will you come home….?

#4. Nobelius’ Garden

Duration: 5:04

Music: Mark Krol / Louisa John-Krol

Produced by Harry Williamson


#5. Beads of Rain

Duration: 5:07

Music/Lyrics: Mark Krol / Andrew Persi / Louisa John-Krol / Brett Taylor

Dawn the bare infusion

Dawn of wooden hill

Dawn the tomb of fear

Climb the flight of birds


Cling on to beads of rain

Go if it’s gone, fly from here


I don’t have no money but I have that distant tree

You don’t have no money but you have your hidden key


Hum the home of freedom

Hum the mountain ring

Hum the forest leeway

Hum the shadow stream


I don’t have no money but I have that distant tree

You don’t have no money but you have your hidden key


Cling on to beads of rain

Go if it’s gone, fly from here

#6. The Seagiant

Duration: 5:22

Music / Lyrics: Louisa John-Krol

‘Cello melody by Mark Krol

Produced by Brett Taylor (excepting sea-harp, Harry Williamson)

Sleep oh darling our Storm has passed,

dream of it all your life

though our dreams might only come briefly true

they last long after we die

Sleep, my Ocean my River my Rain,

safe in the Earth that loves you

rest my Hunger, down on the seafloor

till I return to wake you

I will return…

Oh look you’re so peaceful,

just like some man who dreams on the seafloor…

Oh! my Seagiant was beautiful,

you won’t forget me.

#7. Ariel

Duration: 6:16

Music / Lyrics: Mark Krol

After The Tempest by Shakespeare

Produced by Harry Williamson

Come into these yellow sands,

And take these hands

When you fall onto your knees,

Wild waves talk like bees –


Full Fathom Five your father lies,

Of his bones are coral made

Those are pearls that were his eyes

Nothing of him there remains

But whispers…


The sun flees your eyes

Moonshadows play with flies

Carry your soul to the fray

A seachange in May!


Cats scatter past your gate

Sounds of traffic will not wait

New words born each day

A seachange in May, a seachange in May!

#8. Alice in the Garden of Live Flowers

Duration: 7:03

Music / Lyrics: Louisa John-Krol / Mark Krol

Collage of 2 versions, 2 studios, 2 producers: Harry Williamson / Brett Taylor

Alice is falling, oh-h

Alice is falling, ohh-h


And your cards are all blowing away

in a marmalade parade –

and your caterpillar is shaking

did I hear him say – ?


Take your Boots of Snow – Enter The Garden of Live Flowers!

Take your Wings of Pie an’ fly into the Eye of the Blackbird –


Alice is falling, ohh-h

Alice is falling, oh-h….


Well the King’s in the parlour

and something is wrong with his head –

and the Queen and the Joker were

Seasoned an’ Served with the bread – they said:


Take your Boots of Snow – Enter The Garden of Live Flowers!!!

Take your Wings of Pie an’ fly into the Eye of the Blackbird –


of the Live, of the Live, of the Live

of the Live Flowers!

Enter The Garden!

Enter The Garden!


Alice is falling, oh-h

Alice is falling, ohh-h….

gnillaf si ecilA, h-ho

gnillaf si ecilA, ecilA,


#9. Tale of a Thorn

Duration: 3:57

Music: Mark Krol / Brett Taylor


#10. Salamander

Duration: 7:24

Music / Lyrics: Louisa John-Krol / Mark Krol

Produced by Brett Taylor

For Nick Drake

So, Fame – you always were a dreamer!

and you’ll go on with your Salamander song –

Oh, you always were the river,

and you’ll roll on, and on…


Do you live over the rainbow?

Do you live under the river?

Diving for gold in your Salamander shoal

(o’ in the meadow…oh!)


We wish we could burn,

if we hold and deliver, we could gleam brighter!

We would turn in that river of the…


Salamander! Salamander! Salamander!


So, Fame – you always rolled your fire down

under the dawn, with your Salamander ride –

Ah, I’ll be your gold river in the sky

I’d swim in the fire of your Salamander eyes…

(o’ in the meadow…oh!)


Do you live over the rainbow?

Do you live under the river?

Never grow old, in your Salamander soul.

(o’ in the meadow…oh!)


We wish we could burn,

if we hold and deliver, we could gleam brighter!

We would turn in that river of the…


Salamander! Salamander! Salamander! Salamander!


You never grow old

Everyone knows

You turn into gold,

Turn into gold!


Dig in the knoll,

Looking for anything that glows –

it burns, what are you waiting for?

You’re turning to gold!

#11. Anemone Falling

Duration: 8:19

Music: Mark Krol / Brett Taylor / Louisa John-Krol


#12. Sentinel

Duration: 3:41

Music / Lyrics: Louisa John-Krol / Mark Krol

Produced by Harry Williamson

Shouldn’t we go home?

couldn’t we just sleep under stars?

is that a Will o’ the Wisp through the trees?

seems like we’re often led to believe….


Oh! those dreams,

wild animals

hunting in reed


Shouldn’t we go home?

couldn’t we just live like the birds?

is that a Will o’ the Wisp through the trees?

seems like we’re often led to believe….


Oh! those dreams,

wild oceans are

moving in mead



Flight is one of the guiding themes of Ariel.

Another is the tension between protection and liberty: a need to belong, trust, or rest, versus a desire to leap into adventure.

#1. Blackbird

The river is moving. The blackbird must be flying.

Thirteen ways of looking at a blackbird, by Wallace Stevens.

#2. Red Balloon

Ever more free,

like loose kites, with edges of laughter,

we race through mid-air, wind-tattered.

Sonnets to Orpheus, no. 26, Rainer Maria Rilke

#3. Numb the Wren Tear

Song of the Wren

Inspired by the native fairy wren – who hops fast and high to lure intruders away from its family – we call upon magic, to perform feats that may feel impossible. Traversing the tyranny of distance across – or beyond – a vast island continent; overcoming prejudice or fashion; defending anyone or anything we hold dear, might require defiance, a brave leap, a spell, an act of sorcery.

#4. Nobelius’ Garden

For the gardener who created Emerald Lake Park, in the Dandenongs, forests of mountain ash and fern on the outskirts of Melbourne.

#5. Beads of Rain

A hymn for woodlands, as well as the wild old growth forests within our own humanity. Whether enduring unemployment, or rising to alarm clocks day after day to hold jobs in which one’s spirit is regularly wounded and one’s energy ground like grain, calls for great power: to reach within ourselves and each other, for our “hidden key”.

#6. The Seagiant

A lover, Poseidon / Neptune, or Father Time, who dreams on the seafloor, to awaken every thousand (or ten thousand) years.

#7. Ariel

In The Tempest by Shakespeare, Ariel flies over the sea assisting Prospero.
Let’s enjoy a moment of the play to which our title-track Ariel most closely alludes:

Full fathom five thy father lies

Of his bones are coral made;

Those are pearls that were his eyes:

Nothing of him that doth fade,

But doth suffer a sea-change

Into something rich and strange.

Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell:

Hark! Now I hear them, ding-dong, bell.

Act I, Scene II, The Tempest, by William Shakespeare

#8. Alice in the Garden of Live Flowers

An enchanted garden in any form of Wonderland, above or beneath the ocean, within or beyond Dreaming.

It was recorded in two studios, a year apart, with different producers. The Spring Studio version (with Harry) and Eden version (with Brett at Sean’s studio) were then edited and reassembled,  allowing Alice to move between studios, as it were, through doors in the Dreamworld, where space and time do not necessarily follow laws of the “real” world.

There is also political satire scattered through the lyrics, particularly on the music industry, as indicated on the Ariel intro page.

#9. Tale of a Thorn

An instrumental by Mark Krol and Brett Taylor, celebrating the grace of an arcadian, pastoral scene, whether in solitude or with those we love. A field of contentment, simplicity and solace.

#10. Salamander

On Salamander and the Riverman:

The Salamander dwells in fire. It is said that Alchemists knew they had made gold when a Salamander appeared, glowing in the heart of the furnace. ‘Salamander’ is a tribute to Nick Drake, who died at 26 from an overdose of antidepressants, in 1974. His albums Five Leaves LeftBryter Layter and Pink Moon, though respected, had brought him no fame in his lifetime. Is it honest enough to say we can resist the spirit of an age? What is it in us that longs to burn brighter, to be more alive? Nick’s song ‘Riverman’ bears the poignancy of a leaf falling. It seems to ripple beyond time. He did not shine with the Salamanders of his age. Yet I imagine his brief life, so deeply lived, burned a gold river in the sky

Louisa, 1999

#11. Anemone Falling

Poem by co-writer / husband Mark for Louisa, 2000, that inspired the instrumental ‘Anemone Falling’:

When your dreams lie soaked with tears,

When your heart spends the night drenched in fears,

When you hear leopards whisper of distant stars,

You are the anemone falling.

Mark Krol

#12. Sentinel

Here we reach the apotheosis of tension between protection and liberty, represented by these characters:

Sentinel:  a guard or guardian, totem or guide.

Will o’ the Wisp: a sprite who lures travellers with a light, leading to illusion & danger.

Their struggle is creative. In our fortress we are safe, yet can sink into entropy.  Beyond, we are free to seek whimsical fires, but at what cost?

Will o’ the Wisp is known by many names: Jack-a-Lantern, Jack in the Green, Puck, Robin Goodfellow, Ignis Fatuus (‘the foolish fire’), the Lantern Man, among others.

Reference: A Dictionary of Fairies, by Katharine Briggs

I drink the air before me and return or e’er the pulse twice beat

Act V, Scene One, The Tempest, William Shakespeare




2000: Blue Tree, Australia

2001: Prikosnovenie, France


Lyrics: Louisa John-Krol / Mark Krol, except fragments of ‘Ariel’ (title-track): The Tempest, by William Shakespeare.

Music: Louisa John-Krol / Mark Krol / Brett Taylor.

Guitar for ‘Beads of Rain’: Andrew Persi.

Piano arrangement for ‘Salamander’: Richard Allison.

Performance / Instrumentation

Vocals / Mandolin: Louisa John-Krol

Flute (‘Red Balloon’, ”Beads of Rain’, ‘Tale of a Thorn’): Samantha Taylor

‘Cello (‘Blackbird’, ‘Numb the Wren Tear’, ‘The Seagiant’): Caerwen Martin

String Quartet (‘Blackbird’): arranged / scored / directed by Brett Taylor, performed by Soundwood Strings with George Vi on violin courtesy Melbourne Symphony Orchestra & including Caerwen Martin, ibid.

Darabuka, Drums, Bell-tree, Koorie firesticks, other percussion: Brett Taylor, except Mexican Drum in ‘Sentinel’: Harry Williamson & second Darabuka in ‘Numb the Wren Tear’: Lindsay Buckland.

Acoustic Guitar (‘Numb the Wren Tear’, ‘The Seagiant’, ‘Ariel’): Louisa John-Krol

Bass, Chapman Stick, Rickenbacker (‘Red Balloon’, etc), 12-string & nylon string Classical Guitar (‘Tale of a Thorn’): Brett Taylor

Tiple, Charango (‘Sentinel’), Glissando (‘Ariel’) & Angel Harp: Harry Williamson

Keyboards, Supernova (‘Red Balloon’), other midi: Brett Taylor, except native birds (‘Nobelius’ Garden’), Leviathan (‘Ariel’): Harry Williamson (& see notes below for shared / spliced production of ‘Alice in the Garden of Live Flowers’)

Piano (‘Salamander’): Richard Allison


Recorded, programmed, mixed & mastered by Brett Taylor (approx 70% of the album), excepting the following by Harry Williamson: ‘Nobelius’ Garden’, ‘Ariel’ (title-track), ‘Sentinel’, intro & tail bars of ‘The Seagiant’ & parts of ‘Alice in the Garden of Live Flowers’.

‘Alice in the Garden of Live Flowers’ is a collage from both Spring Studio (Harry) and Siamese Studio (Brett, courtesy Sean), mixed by Harry & edited by Brett, back & forth between locations to signal Alice moving through doors / forms / realities.

‘The Seagiant’: Harp-in-the-sea, crafted by Harry, played by Louisa at Spring Studio, opens & closes the piece; whereas the main body of the song – principal voice, guitar & ‘cello solo – were recorded by Brett Taylor at Siamese Studio.

Prior to establishing Pilgrim Arts, Brett recorded most of the songs on this album at studios of our mutual friends Sean Bowley of Eden (Siamese Studio) and Lindsay Buckland (Flesh & Spirit Studio), in addition to contributions by Harry Williamson (Spring Studio). I attribute a lot of this album’s mood to the combined atmospheres of each location and conversations therein.

Visual Art

Cover painting: Karan Wicks, ‘Alice in the Garden of Live Flowers’, photographed by Peter Hatigan

Photograph of Louisa with Mandolin by Jerry Galea, 1999

Other photos of Louisa by Mark Krol, 2000

Design, lay-out (Australian edition): Black Widow Graphic Design

Fairie photos, further design, lay-out (French edition): Sabine-Adelaide (at that time Adelaide Mallunee)

Website / computer support: Eliza Van Dort, Blackdog, Richard O’Donovan, Peter Hatigan

Thanks in addition to above credits

Storytellers & faeries (esp. June, Nell, Dee, Mazza, Mary-Lou, Jay, Jack-Dan the statue man & Unique Creatures), Gordon, Darryl Rogan, Carole, Phil, Sally, Rad, Stavros, Graham at Celestial Voices, Craig Gidney, David, Philip, Mike, Jackie (& all others who reviewed or responded), Olaf Parusel (Stoa), Adam at Castle Von Buhler, Cdbaby, Frederic Chaplain, Seba at Side-Line, our families, esp. sisters Catherine and Rebecca, all other relatives & friends, including my first, Jenni Heinrich, Nobelius and the birds who have crossed our paths.


Originally self-published (after departure from German label Hyperium), Ariel was signed to the French label Prikosnovenie.  This French edition sold out of several issues. Later, in the global economic crash, the label’s manufacturer closed, taking with it the glass masters for pressing Ariel (though the record label itself is still strong). Consequently Ariel is currently out-of-print. We are considering re-issuing it in a revamped edition from Australia, as the label’s focus is on future productions.



“Tasha, former editor of TEAR magazine… gave me Ariel and said “I think you’ll like this.” That proved (a) significant understatement. My experience… returned me to the inspired, sensual musicianship and wise, poetic lyrics so unique about Kate Bush’s early work. But here was something more singular: clearly the expression of… deeply heartfelt vision of the world and denizens of faerie… she evokes authentic magic… These are not songs “about fairies.” The essence of the Realm, both light and dark, is alive and vibrant in her music and words. In a world so rife with superficial allegory, Louisa’s depth and resonance is very rare. The melodic beauty of her music is emotionally moving and provokes… entrancing glamour. Louisa’s lyrics have… oblique quality, true to the belief that faerie is best seen in a sidelong glance… I highly recommend Louisa’s music to all lovers of faerie.”

Robert Gould, , World of Froud & Imaginosis, Oregon, USA, 2007

“Louisa gets inspired by mythology, poetry, literature and nature expressing an aptitude to whatever is related to fairies, hobs and elementals, which move her soul thread and crystallize her inspiration… Ariel, apart from fairy vocals, is enriched by instruments… a melodic, romantic, dreamy world… moonstruck Louisa takes us into a world of fairies and elementals… a completely different space-time continuum. Black birds, psychopomps, sorrow, salamanders, bubbles of rain fill her thematic field… Which world is real and which is imaginary, the listener is called to discover… a jewel in romantic pop-ethereal fairy music. If you love hobs and fairies do not hesitate. This is something that concerns you personally!”

Tolis Elefantis, L’Ame Electrique Magazine (, Greece

“The golden-haired Australian comes back to enchant us with her calming, languorous voice… filled with mysterious, mesmerizing powers. Literature, mythology, poetry… give substance to lyrics (that) float by music essentially classical, acoustic, ethnic, sustained by a light electronic touch. The folklore of Louisa John-Krol has real medicinal virtues, bathing our celestial bodies in a pastoral atmosphere, where we can transform ourselves into a Blackbird… or Salamander (magnificently inspired by Nick Drake). Ariel invites us to a promenade… nourishing to intellect as to senses, in magical Australian flora and a little taste of paradise.”

Yannick Blay (in English translation), D-Side Magazine, France 

“How beautiful! How amazing! How dreamy! Ariel is one of those albums impossible to ignore and above all to forget. The melodies… heavenly voice, wonderful atmosphere… to breathe, remain in your mind… one of the most beautiful sensations you can feel listening to an album. Remembrances of Dead Can Dance are present in structures… but what excites me is… the ethereal and magik world Louisa’s voice creates… she is a great singer and her voice is unique!!! ‘Blackbird’ with its strings… percussions of ‘Numb The Wren Tear’, new age aura of ‘Nobelius’ Garden’, wonderful ‘Alice In The Garden Of Live Flowers’, incredible classical essence of ‘Salamander’, are magnificent hymns to the beauty and to the great music.” Vote: 90/100

Francesco Palumbo, Vampiria Magazine, Italy

“She wanders through mysterious gardens… wishes herself into the sea or sky… gliding, swimming, dancing, twinkling sounds she spreads in front of us are nourished by Welsh heritage as well as by myths and atmosphere of the Australian gold town where she grew up (and) classical literature…. detailed percussive background evokes memories of Dead can Dance, but completely original, formed by Louisa’s soft voice, warm strings and subtle electronics. It is difficult to compare… I can only mention names for broad orientation – Kate Bush or early Clannad – but each comparison would degrade the individual charm and magic of Louisa’s work. Some songs are meditative, almost sacred… onomatopoetic dreamlike singing, whispering voices and strange soothing background… Others floating, driven by hypnotic singing and mandolin, or move like chamber music in a dreamy sun-filled room. The lyrics… little journeys into inner and outer worlds, where borders between wishes, dreams, encounters mingle and dissolve….In songs like ‘Ariel’ or ‘The Seagiant’ Louisa seems to float under water, surrounded by gliding plants, sinking deeper and emerging to light again…. Sometimes her warm voice rises… urging, like Tori Amos. My favourite song which always sends a shiver down my spine is the magical ‘Numb the Wren Tear’ with its driving rhythms, light atmosphere filled with subtle tension, repeated coiling fragile guitar and string melodies.”

Claudia Mona Striewe, Polarlicht Magazine issue 8, autumn 2001, Germany

“Stunning and Breathtaking Neo Folk music mix of Dead can Dance, The Gathering, Loreena McKennitt and The Moors… a very celtic flavor as you can imagine… Another Ethereal Journey where given here by Prikosnovenie, a label to watch very closely… releases are truly impressing me on a massive scale.”

Clint, Dragon Flight Magazine, USA

“Ein erster Blick auf das Yggdrasil-Signet der CD lässt erahnen, welche musikalischen Pfade Louisa John-Krol beschreitet. Allerdings beschränkt sich Ariel nicht auf Pagan-Songs… schÖpft vielmehr aus dem gesamten Fundus europäischer Mythologien und verdichtet sie zu einem spirituellen Ganzen. Mit den Worten come blackbird and take my soul away fÜhrt Louisa den HÖrer ins Reich der Poesie. Malentsteht aus dezenten Percussions und FlÖten ein ambientes Klanggebilde, das den HÖrer träumen lässt. Ein andermal bilden Folkgitarren und elektronische Rhythmen den Hintergrund fÜr Ariel, den Luftgeist aus Shakespeares Sturm. Neben Mandoline und Klavier… die studierte Musikerin vor allem ein Instrument: ihre Stimme. Mit warmem Timbre baut sie die atmosphärischen Klangcollagen auf, die dieses Album auszeichnen. Louisa John-Krol bietet… musikalischer Eigenständigkeit eine wunderbare Bereicherung… Elfenmusik. Wer Mila Mar oder Hagalaz’ Runedance schähtzt, kann hier getrost reinhÖren.”

Elmar Klemm, Zillo Magazine (68), Germany

“The Australian… is back with a brilliant album!…ambient-folk-esoteric-new age… she reminds me of Enya, but in a less commercial way and more elaborate. It’s all like a dream or day in fairyland…beautiful vocals of Louisa as magical fairy… Ariel runs like clear spring-water…that gives you a state of total prosperity. Song after song you feel… part of this enlightening universe she creates… absolute highlight is ‘Anemone falling’. It’s simply a pearl! An extremely floating composition with angelic vocal parts where each tone accentuates the brilliance of the dream… you’ll hear birds singing in the green woods. Louisa is one of those artists who deserves world-wide recognition… a captivating, emotional symbiosis. I love your music Louisa, thanks for the reverie you give me… you’re like a star that shines in a deeply dark sky!”

Stephane Froidcoeur, Side-Line Magazine, Belgium

“A touch of piano, a good dose of guitar and mandolin, some spoonfulls of violoncello, percussion and a glass of flute. Mix the ingredients with… a pure, gentle, melodic voice, and set it to rest between a painting by Karan Wicks inspired by Alice in Wonderland, and most faerie of artworks by Adelaide Mallunee. Next, say the magic words: The river is moving, the blackbird must be flying [Wallace Stevens]… Ariel opens to you… a pure marvel. The storyteller transports us into her world of twelve stories each more beautiful than the last. You meet a very strange blackbird, a seagiant, a red balloon, a salamander [tribute to Nick Drake], even Alice in her garden of live flowers…Each piece enters us into a different universe, evolving between Lewis Caroll, Loreena McKennit and Dead Can Dance. A veritable joy for the unconditional dreamers that we are.”

Alyz Tale (translated into English by Cath Goss), Elegy Magazine, France 

“Louisa John-Krol…made an album of incredible beauty… lyrical depth… musical dexterity. Her songs are easy on the ear and leave a lasting impression… similarities (of) ethereal style (to) Enya, but John-Krol is her own woman. She sets lines from Shakespeare’s The Tempest to music with breathtaking results... lovely ode to Nick Drake, ‘Salamander’, is above the trite sentiments such a subject might have inspired in others.”

Anna Maria Stjarnell, Collected Sounds, (once a webzine, now a blog), Sweden

“I liked this cd the instant I started listening…  brought to mind celtic, folky and dancey touches of Kate Bush, Loreena McKennitt and Delerium. An enchanting album…And I really love the painting on the cover!”

Mistress McCutchan, Morbid Outlook – in Rotation, USA

“Louisa… shared a house with Brendan Perry’s sister who introduced her to music of DCD, but that is more coincidental than influential, as Louisa’s style is uniquely her own. Lyrics and music are by Louisa and husband Mark. Guest musicians include Caerwyn Martin on cello, Samantha Watkins on flute and Soundwood Strings quartet with violinist George Vi, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra… Graced with neoclassical ambient passages as well as songs… enchanting rather than dark. At first I found this album too light and polished for my own rough and ready tastes, but my appreciation has grown… I particularly like ‘Blackbird’… outstanding, also ‘The Seagiant’ which seems to blend ecology and mythology. Many exemplify another of Louisa’s talents – that of storyteller.

Rik, Flux Europa, 2003, England

Ariel is such an impressive body of work, the function of reviewer seems more than a little redundant… incredibly well crafted rhythm, melody, imagination, lyrics, charm, passion… elegant pop of ‘Blackbird’ and ‘Numb the Wren Tear’… enchanting haunting tracks such as ‘Ariel’, ‘Nobelius Garden’ and harrowing apocalyptic folk ‘Alice in the Garden of Live Flowers’, which I invariably end up playing several times in a row. Nick Drake seems a great influence… ‘Salamander’ dedicated to his memory. I want to maintain some sort of decorum and not appear like a daft gushing fan but few releases by a female artist have impressed me so much since Nico in her heyday or Kate Bush from the Hounds of Love and Sensual World eras.”

Mike Shankland, Oriflamme journal (publication closed), England 

Ariel certainly owes a debt to the likes of Sally Oldfield, Enya and Dead Can Dance… a subtle, thematically rich tapestry of strong melodies and highly exotic sonic textures… arrangements are diverse, lacking in pompous overkill musically flowing effortlessly from one beautiful conceptual idea to the next.”

Archie Patterson, Eurock, USA

“LJK s’inspire la fois du lgendaire ferique europen et de l’imaginaire aborigne pour crer… surprenante beaut… Ariel est une invitation au rve se en douze pices qui sont autant de petits joyaux. Si la puret de la voix et morceaux de facture folk plus classique font penser Loreena McKennitt… programmations et d’effets lectroniques, la thtralisation du chant nous plongent parfois dans un univers proche de celui de Kate Bush, tandis qu’ailleurs, on se rapproche d’Enya et de ses odes ambient-folk (le sublime ‘Anemone falling’).”

PJH – Septembre 2001, Le Fantastique, Septembre 2001, Belgium 

“La divine Australienne est de retour avec sa troisieme CD portant le doux prenom de I’ange Ariel. Enfant des croisades… Son reuvre est un doux melange de voix feminines feeriques, d’instruments traditionnels… quelques vagues de synthe… inspirations litteraires… La nature a eu elle aussi un role important… Les oiseaux, les peintres (I’expressionnisme creatif), Loreena McKennitt… sont des facteurs…”

Emmanuel Queva, Presto Magazine, Issue #53, page 33, Octobre 2001, France

“La leggiadria di Ariel… della Tempesta di Shakespeare, aleggia sulle musiche romantiche e medievaleggianti… amalgama di eteree e sognanti atmosfere. Mitologia, leggende, favole, poesia, ii mistero della Natura, permeano tutti i brani, sia nelle liriche che nella costruzione musicale; la voce di Louisa… stile indefinibile, bellissimi, con I’impatto del pop, I’autenticito del folk e il magnetismo della musica antica. Un brano e dedicato a Nick Drake… poeta della solitudine umana. Prikosnovenie sta definendo un genere nuovo e sorprende ad ogni nuova uscita: Rajna, Caprice, Cherche Lune, Anima in Fiamme, Jack or Jive… una scuderia di enorme qualito, con Louisa John Krol si raggiunge la perfezione.”

Gianluigi Gasparetti, Deep Listenings Magazine, Italy

Ariel enchants… truly a masterpiece of the genre… between DCD and Enya… she takes us on a journey to a land of fairies and fantastic stories… a beautiful arc of music, led by Louisa’s voice, which can easily compete with… the finest artists of the genre. A gem, not only for fans of Heavenly Voices, but also for lovers of medieval music, for meditation or for goths that want to cuddle. Highly recommendable.”

Martin Hirsch, Tranceform, Germany

“Louisa John-Krol revient sur le devant de la scène, avec le superbe Ariel, à l’aisance aussi magique que féerique. L’Australienne puise son inspiration des merveilles de son pays natal, la Nature éternelle… aussi cherche sa voie au-travers de la mythologie, de la poésie, de la littérature… DCD, Bel Canto, Kate Bush, sur des harmonies fines et aériennes, limpides et légères. Cette musique flotte au-dessus des nuages, immaculée d’une aura indescriptible…  Recommandé”

Stéphane Fivaz, Heimdallr, Switzerland

“…Ewigkeit und tiefe Ruhe sind die Zustnde, die sich hier einen atmosphrischen Sound geben. Auch die Stimme gestaltet sich nach diesem Prinzip. Neben zauberhaft gesungenen Liedern gibt es Stcke, in denen die Stimme als Instrument zu einem Element wird wie das Rauschen, das Pfeifen und Rieseln der Natur. Inmitten von betrenden Sphrenklngen erblhen mrchenhafte Melodien, die einem das Herz zerspringen lassen. Dabei sind die zarten Klnge der kniglichen Instrumente sorgsam und diffizil arrangiert, wie bei einer klassischen Komposition ranken sie sich in gediegener Reinheit und Transparenz um die Stimme, entfalten ihre Dynamik durch das Spiel mit der variablen Intensitt von Druck und Lautstrke. Ein therischer Sound, der, wie es zu diesen Zeiten verbreitet ist, auch gelegentlich mit Trip Hop Rhythmik etwas Tempo gewinnt, als Kontrast zu den von textlosen Stimmen aufgetrmten undurchdringlichen Klangwnden. Louisa… die ekstatische Singweise keltischer Barden… In Kreisen wie Enya, Loreena McKennitt oder Kate Bush… knstlerisch beheimatet, auch Black Rose. Ariel ist ein Album mit dem man sich lngere Zeit befassen kann, das nicht einfach so vorbeipltschert wie ein Bchlein im Walde.”

(Ariel voted ‘Album of the month’ for June 2001), Glasnost Music, Germany

“…an exquisite masterpiece… #1 CD on my Best of 2001. It may even break into my Top 100 of all time… All of her work has… spiritual quality… mood of Ariel ranges from uplifting to haunting and ethereal… arrangements all beautiful… very clever without being the least pretentious… production is also superb. I highly recommend this CD to Ectophiles who like Loreena McKennit and Clannad.The arrangements also have elements of the early, classic Moody Blues (mellotron or similar synth strings, flute, cello) and acoustic, softer side of Led Zeppelin… Louisa plays mandolin and sings in similar style to Sandy Denny (who dueted with Robert Plant on ‘The Battle of Evermore’) …in more enlightened times, ‘Blackbird’ would have “HIT” written all over it…it is that good… Get Ariel—no, get every Louisa John-Krol album you can find…”

“Louisa John-Krol is a true pixie, living in an industrial suburb of Melbourne, Australia… I confess I was bowled over by this album! …a real masterpiece. There are many nice female voices in the world, but the impression produced on the listener depends on how fully does the singer give in to the music. On this CD, Louisa gave herself fully… it is heard in every sound, in every tune….If you like the style and creations of Loreena McKennitt, Kate Price & Carolene Lavelle, this album will not cease to impress you.”

Andrey, Russian Gothic Project, coroner 5/5, Russia

“Your passport to experience the energetic amorous pop-ethereal… faerie euphonies and myth in the Dreamtime of archetypal imagery… tribute to Shakespeare’s character in The Tempest. The soul ascends in ‘Blackbird’ – tribute to poet Wallace Stevens… with mandolin and lyrical depth the door to the Dreamtime is opened by the spirit messenger Ariel… enter ‘Alice in the Garden of Live Flowers’. The Garden’s magical door is created by recording the song twice in different studios… synergetic flow of experience and emotion.”

Mindquest, Recommendations, Reviews, Lightword Publishing Company, Texas
Exceptional Music and Books, Summer edition 2002, USA

“Louisa grew up in native Australian bushland… During the early nineties she shared a house with other artists including Dawn Perry, who introduced her to her brother Brendan’s duo, Dead Can Dance. Now she introduces the magical Ariel with mandoline, percussion, flute, cello, string quartet, derbouka… as soon as I heard the first tunes of ‘Blackbird’, I started thinking of Dead Can Dance. The instrumental, ‘Tale of a Thorn’, starts with flute then changes beautifully to percussion and strings. She takes inspiration in literature, mythology, poetry and nature and fragments of lyrics are by Shakespeare. A heavenly voice will take you into romantic, dreamy worlds; great masterpieces are ‘Red Balloon’, ‘Numb the Wren Tear’, ‘Beads of Rain’ and ‘Salamander’… romantic pop-ethereal fairy music that leans to dark folk. This album must have a high score.

Peter Jan Van Damme, Darker Than The Bat, Belgium

“La musica dell’australiana Louisa John-Krol… pop-ethereal romantico, io direi quasi fantastico… L’elemento che pi contraddistingue Ariel dalle molte produzioni del genere la scelta di virare spesso verso un etno-folk arioso e completo, piacevole ed elegante, e brani come le iniziali ‘Blackbird’ e ‘Red Balloon’ ne sono l’esempio pi illuminante…”

Federico Tozzi, Suburbia Magazine, Italy

Ariel, spirit-servant of enchanter Prospero… may take any form, from fierce harpy to gentle sprite… (L’s CD)opens with almost pure 70s folk-art-rock, but thoroughly updated: Renaissance – Brian Eno. John-Krol’s voice takes on aspects of Anne Halsam’s clear soprano… Strings augment… in particular, urgently melancholic ‘Numb the Wren Tear’… giddily beautiful, innovative in mix of instruments… Ambient Folk Rock… lyrics are whimsical, full of literary allusion; John-Krol’s voice… has a passion that makes the words live. The sound is resurrected in the mandolin-mad ‘Alice in the Garden of Live Flowers’, that captures the insane frenzy of Carroll’s imagination. The title track lifts lyrics from Shakespeare… delicate as foam on a beach… gentle chimes, courtly time signatures… sumptuous… influenced by Peter Greenaway’s image-drunk and elegant Prospero’s Books… untamed and lovely, Ariel conjures an incorporeal and timeless atmosphere.”

Craig L. Gidney of Washington, Ethereality & Online Journal Egg-centric, USA

“…perfecta harmonización de sonidos clásicos, medievales, atmósferas minimalistas, pasajes ambientales y  a melodías… “popies”…instrumentos clásicos de la variada procedencia y la sensibilidad musical… hacen de éste trabajo una pieza imprescindible para cualquier amante de la música.” 5/6

Emilio J. Moreno Atienza, Teirra de Lobos webzine, Spain

“Enchanting music from medievalesque fairy queen, Louisa John-Krol. Her wild, haunting voice is entwined with unusual accompaniments… and imaginative lyrics… and we have a magical trip into a fairy garden of wonder. Part lyrical, part chanting or speaking in fairy tongues, elemental. We hear of new moons, snow, mountains, gardens, blackbirds, rain and rivers. My favourites include the extraordinary ‘Red Balloon’, an eccentric ballad that builds up from faraway echoing voices to a dramatic conclusion: ‘in my balloon I drift into the moon’. The prize for… most exquisite beauty goes to ‘Nobelius Garden’. Delicate, moving, it drifts in fairy chants layering textures of whispers, harmonies, mandolin and rain. Or perhaps ‘Anemone Falling’ should win. Almost too beautiful to describe… Expressive, emotive, otherworldly… truly celestial.”

G.Loobie, Celestial Voices (no longer online), UK

“…sonorit acustiche, con mandolino, flauti, archi, arpa…”etnici” di percussioni… sempre di brani molto ricercati e raffinati dal punto di vista compositivo, in cui domina una vena idillica e romantica, resa ancora pi suadente dalla heavenly voice… Forti sono i richiami alle tradizioni celtiche e ad un mondo arcaico di fairy tales, popolato da strane fate e folletti… Atmosfere sognanti alla Alice nel paese delle meraviglie di Lewis Carroll (‘Alice in the Garden of Live Flowers’) convivono in ottima simbiosi con melodie pi accessibili e pop-eggianti, di sicuro richiamo anche commerciale (‘Blackbird’, onnipresente nelle varie compilation)”

Mircalla, Ver Sacrum, Italy

“Romantic Ethereal Fairie Poplend an ear to Louisa John-Krol’s album Ariel. With an array of instruments and her voice, the sound is a bit like DCD, Enigma & Delerium, but with more acoustic elements.”

Johan Carlsson (news editor), Release Magazine, Sweden

“From the world of fairies comes Louisa John-Krol. Ariel is magical-ethereal-pop, with plenty of classic instruments. Ariel projects you into a dreamy landscape will carry you away in its own fantastic world…”

Gianfri, Darklife fanzine, Germany

“Let’s embark on a dreamy journey… music having a soul. Louisa John-Krol has a romantic folk pop ethereal faerie approach… music we love that moves our hearts… 100% original. I discovered this talented, inspired artist thanks to our message board… I only had an mp3 sample of ‘Blackbird’. I kept playing it, and whenever the song ended abruptly cause it was an extract, I got more frustrated. I finally decided to get the whole cd. Louisa’s voice is like cristal… (she) mastered vocal harmonies at a step of quality and inspiration rarely witnessed… Louisa is a great composer and arranger… close your eyes and you’ll be having visions… beautiful landscapes, faeries. I was stunned by cosmic sounds floating, soaring, as well as more rocky stuff. All borders broken and crossed. You’ll be under the spell of this music enchantress quickly, I promise, but I dunno a better punishment for us all than to fall prey to… this blonde fairy goddess. All lovers of L. McKennitt, Dead Can Dance, Tori Amos, Kate Bush, Enya, Margaret Davies or Carol Tatum should get that cd.”

Stephane Vasiljevic, The Penny Dreadful Webzine, Germany

“Imaginez un univers féérique, dans lequel… à chaque détour, voir surgir des elfes ou des créatures sorties d’un Moyen-Age fantasmagorique… le souffle de Dead Can Dance se ressent d’ailleurs subtilement, mais on peut aussi avancer les noms de Clannad ou de Loreena McKennitt. Louisa John-Krol a une voix, qui peut rappeler celle d’Anneli Drecker sur les premiers Bel Canto, ou celle de Jarboe, la grande prètresse des Swans, en plus lumineuse. La mandoline et la harpe se mèlent intimement et intelligemment avec les nappes électroniques, alors que les guitares et les batteries se cahrgent de donner à l’ensemble une coloration plus pop folk. Le celtisme d’Ariel n’a rien d’artificiel, et l’Australienne, férue de littérature… réjourira tous les publics amateurs d’ ‘heroic fantasy musical’. Alors pur peu qu’on aime courir dans la forét de Broceliande à la quéte d’un folklore mythique, légendaire et toujours bien vivant…” (4/6 stars)

Jean-Henri Maisonneuve, Magic Magazine, France

“A Loreena McKennitt from the bush… DCD influences… above all a very particular voice, beautiful and varied as the country she evokes, spanning from ocean to desert! Its not too late to discover this music.”

Cynfeirdd – Friendship Culture, UK

“Blackbird is one of my favourite songs. A lot of emotions. Kissses from France.”

PolEnry, Myspace, 4 July 2009

“I thought about you, reading a novel inspired by you, your personality and song ‘Black Bird’… Kisses…” (Refers to a story entitled ‘Louisa’ by Parisian author Alyz Tale, published in her collection.)

Ossian, Myspace, 16 May 2007, France

“A wild beauty has taken root within my soul / and I find myself lost in a garden of secrets. The songs that ride a fair wind are stirring / in the Tree of Dreams where a blackbird sits.”

Lance Earnest, poetry, 13 May 2003, USA

“Ariel is such a gorgeous cd! – Blackbird is pure enchantment.”

Sheri, The Telling, Myspace, 23 October 2007, USA

“A song like ‘black bird’ was a revelation for me.”

Eydolon, Myspace, 29 April 2007