System of a Down’s Serj Tankian Embraces Augmented Reality for New ‘Perplex Cities’ EP

System of a Down’s Serj Tankian will release his next solo project through an augmented reality app. 

On Monday, Sept. 19, the musician announced a five-track EP, Perplex Cities, which will arrive on Oct. 21. But before the full EP hits the usual streaming services, Tankian will trickle out tracks on the app Arloopa, starting today with “Pop Imperialism,” and continuing over the next four weeks. Each song will be accompanied by an AR video, in which Tankian discusses the new music and listens along to the tack. 

“I’m always trying to create new and interesting ways to connect with people via my music,” Tankian said in a statement. “We made some amazing videos for the last EP Elasticity, so I wanted to try something different for Perplex Cities. I love the idea of appearing in the room with someone listening to my music. It’s intimate, fun, and different.”

As for the music on Perplex Cities, Tankian said the project boasts a “completely different sound that I’ve done before.” He continued, “More electronic, subtle and deeper in terms of its layers of presentation musically. Perplex Cities gives off an aura that is unique and unlike my previous releases.”

Perplex Cities will be Tankian’s first project of all new material this year, though he did drop a new live album — Live at Leeds, recorded with the F.C.C. as his backing band — in April. He also shared a stand-alone Armenian-language song, “Amber,” in June, linking up with the celebrated Armenian singer Sevak Amroyan. 

Always busy, Tankian released a slew of projects last year, including the Elasticity EP, and Cool Gardens Poetry Suite, in which he paired poems from his collection, Cool Gardens, with new classical music pieces. He also dropped Cinematique, a set of 25 compositions split into two collections that explores classical and modern soundscapes, as well as two film soundtracks for the documentaries Truth to Power and I Am Not Alone. 

Perplex Cities Track List

  1. “Pop Imperialism”
  2. “The Race”
  3. “I Spoke Up”
  4. “Rumi Loves His Cars”
  5. “Forgive Me Father”