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Photo from Alex Silas & the Subterraneans' website.

Alex Silas & The Subterraneans are colouring outside the lines 

By Apartment613 on June 30, 2016

Post by Nicole Irvine 

These days, it could be said that the hip-hop world is pretty saturated.  Hundreds of artists are trying to make their voices heard daily. In order to make it, you have to make some sort of unique mark that resonates with audiences. Being a local artist only makes that even harder. 

One Ottawa hip-hop artist is rising above the noise this week with the release of their newest effort. 

Alex Silas & The Subterraneans are back with Tunnels: Season One, the beginning of an album full of risks and experimentation.  

Photo from Alex Silas & the Subterraneans' website.

Photo from Alex Silas & the Subterraneans’ website.

Describing themselves not as a hip-hop act but as “beat”, Silas says that they are the culmination of a variety different inspirations and sounds. 

“The biggest goal for us is to try and create something new, something that’s genuine and real. I’m big on colouring outside the lines, I’m not interested in making music that I’ve already heard. So if that means our music sounds less like hip-hop and more like folk, or indie rock, or punk, or who knows, it could be anything, that’s absolutely fine with us”. 

Silas takes this unique approach to their sound further, with the choice to have the newest album released incrementally over the next year. This choice was not motivated by any lack of material (because they certainly do not have that issue), but as a means to create a closer relationship with their fans.  

“With previous releases I’ve felt that once the album is out, it’s done, it’s out of my hands and it’s no longer mine, it’s the listeners’ now,” Silas says. “ So by releasing Tunnels incrementally my hope is that we’ll be able to create a back & forth between us & the listeners, where we put songs out over an extended period of time and that way we can create a sort of cyclical bond”. 

Photo from Alex Silas & the Subterraneans' website.

Photo from Alex Silas & the Subterraneans’ website.

Both long term and new fans will have something to take away from Tunnels: Season One. There are plenty of tight rhymes throughout the release, even a quick reference to NBA 2K16 (to which my boyfriend excitedly pointed out).  

Tunnels embraces enough sounds from other artists that it could appease even the strictest of indie rockers like myself.  

Looking for more of a Red Hot Chili Peppers vibe? The backbeat of “Nothing’s Lost” will have you moving hard. More of a Eminem kind of person? You’ll definitely be getting Slim Shady kind of sensation from “Shade of Red”. Or you can chill out to my personal favourite, “STARS”, which has an chillwave energy. 

If you’re looking for something that colours outside the lines and something with enough personality to add to your Canada Day playlist (I suggest “Champagne”!) then I highly recommend you check out Tunnels: Season One.


Alex Silas & The SubterraneansTunnels: Season One is available for download beginning on June 30th here. Visit their website for more updates on Season Two’s release and more. 

The Tunnels: Season One release party will be on August 6th, 2016 in the basement of St. Brigid’s Centre of the Arts (310 St. Patrick St) – tickets and more information can be found here. Stay tuned to Apt613 for more details! 

For more Alex Silas & the Subterraneans, visit their website, or find them on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and SoundCloud.