I’m now convinced that the Canadian capital city of Ottawa, Ontario, is in the midst of a musical renaissance. While the major newspapers generally snub the local music scene, there are a bevy of great blogs out there, such as Ottawa Showbox, , Sometimes Always.ca and many others picking up the slack. What’s more, local venues are starting to pop up after a drought for live music. These are exciting times, and the Gallop, now releasing their latest EP, Tall Tale Tellers, are among those leading the charge for simply grand music in the city. The Gallop basically take a little bit from Local Natives, a little bit from the Shins, and perhaps a smidge from Vampire Weekend, stir it in a pot and make their own concoction. During the course of these six songs and 19 minutes, not one precious second is wasted. As far as remarkable indie pop goes, this is simply indispensible.
What makes the Gallop particularly strong — aside from their gorgeous melodies and smooth harmonies — is that they’re unafraid to sing about Ottawa. On “Jump Ship”, there’s a line that goes “Yeah, I know this is a government town / But it’s also where I call home.” It’s a neat statement. Yes, Ottawa routinely gets called by the rest of Canada as “the city that fun forgot” owing to its bureaucratic nature, but the Gallop, at least, remind us that there are still people living there and making their own scene. However, another key strength is that the members of the Gallop seem like good guys. During “Heart Rate”, the following is sung: “I’m calling bullshit on survival of the fittest / It doesn’t make any sense when we could love one another.” Ayn Rand disciples might want to look away from this one. The alliterative Tall Tale Tellers is wall to wall with catchy, hummable songs, and it’s only excruciatingly minor failing is that it’s a tease. This is great stuff and you want to hear a full length. The Gallop are galloping at full speed, and, hot damn, this is just a great EP by a great band in a great city where great things are bound to happen on the level of a Seattle or Halifax sometime soon.