The four-piece Minneapolis-based band Tabah is often called out in the local press about its vocalist, Cecelia Erholtz. The word “Earthy” gets used a lot, and while not inaccurate, Erholtz’s “Earthy” vocals communicate something more universal than what could be attributed to any one planet. They could be “Jupitery,” or “Saturny,” and even Heavenly on Tabah’s debut album Symmetry Somewhere. Erholtz’s powerful voice – while also a major contribution on guitar – needs a powerful band to support it. Grounded, if you will. Earthy? Tribal. It comes in the form of the adept playing of her classically-trained bandmates, Jeff Ley (guitar/vocals), Charlie Bruber (bass/vocals), and Murphy Janssen (drums/percussion.)
Together the band takes this music to a unique place where psych-heaviness and ethereal-wisp combine in a way that hasn’t necessarily been heard like this before. Symmetry Somewhere is a head-bobbing, mind-bender of an album that was recorded in Nashville, and could pass for folk in its quieter moments, but is still loud enough to piss off neighbors by blowing off their doors.
Tabah encourages listener interpretations rather than trying to define them. Self-described as a blank and meaningless canvas, Tabah continues to be eternally grateful for the ways people have perceived them so far, and believe that this album will finally allow listeners to get a sense of what they are really going for in their music.
So far, it’s made a lot of sense for the Minneapolis NPR-affiliate, 89.3 The Current, which has consistently supported Tabah since the band’s first EP release in 2015, giving the single heavy rotation and naming it one of the best local tracks of the year. The resultant sell-out crowds at Tabah’s hometown venue, the famed 7th St Entry, have only further cemented the group as a must-see live act in the city; a mystifying, haunting, soulful experience that will now go national with the release of the new album, and tours to follow.
The first single from Symmetry Somewhere is “Curtain Call,” an ironic choice for a beginning, but one that has actually been a part of the band’s set since the start. An earlier version of the song appeared on Tabah’s debut EP, but owing to the four-headed monster (or many-armed Buddha?) that is Tabah, the song has become something else over time.
Now that Symmetry Somewhere is completed, the members of Tabah continue to seek – personally and also professionally – through their visceral ability to connect in meaningful ways with their rapidly expanding audience. Now they have the tangible result of this pursuit. As for what can’t yet be physically grasped, it’s still waiting for us to discover. It might be Earthy. It’s definitely out there.