After working throughout her early twenties as a live drummer, improviser, session musician, and environmental researcher, Halifax-raised and now Vancouver-based artist Jen Yakamovich began distilling her eclectic experience to bring her own compositions to life. “Troll Dolly” is the result: stitching together a sonic patchwork of vintage folk influences with tape samples, rhythmic hymns, and murmured meditations. While primarily trained on drums & percussion, Yakamovich’s explorations in music creation are limitless. Her debut work “Heaven’s Mini Mart” incorporates strings, hammers, sticks, mallets, pads, voice, field recordings, and found instruments, offering a tableau that is at once percussive and pastoral.
Living somewhere between song and improvised spell, each piece takes from the paradox that to see clearly, we must learn to see obliquely. This consideration is especially important given the gradual blindness Yakamovich inhabits, as a person with an inherited retinal disease. Sound makes up a vast portion of Yakamovich’s internal landscape, and Troll Dolly’s sensibilities paint a world unfurling with ornamental surprises for her listeners.
“Microcosms” the aptly named latest release from Vancouver’s Troll Dolly, is a beautifully arranged collection of motifs and mantras with influences ranging from Sybille Baier to Stereolab to Steve Reich. Lyrical phrases seem to take on new life each time they’re repeated as sonic and rhythmic layers come and go in a loose yet intentional ebb and flow making the song feel like a meditative breathing exercise.