Pin It
TOMORROW X TOGETHER, The Chaos Chapter: Freeze 1

TOMORROW X TOGETHER on flying the flag for K-pop’s 4th gen

The band discuss their comeback, second album The Chaos Chapter: FREEZE, and their mission to share authentic stories in the K-pop sphere

The Zoom call materialises and five well-dressed guys sit in Seoul on the other side of my screen. As young as they are, these boys are far from rookies, in fact, they’re bubbling up to be one of the most promising Korean acts to emerge from the scene. Who are they? Hueningkai, Soobin, and Yeonjun are placed behind Beomgyu and Taehyun, sitting next to a physical version of their second full length album, The Chaos Chapter: FREEZE, out today (May 31). Together, they form TOMORROW X TOGETHER.

To describe them is challenging, so I let them take the lead. Leader Soobin, age 20, lists words such as “magic”, “dream”, “team”, or “narrative”, then cuts to the chase. “The best choice is probably ‘tomorrow’ in terms of both the word’s definition and its representation of the future. Our name, TOMORROW X TOGETHER means that we have all gathered under one dream to build a better tomorrow. Like our name, we want to connect and empathise with those who listen to our music, and together build a brighter tomorrow.” 

When TOMORROW X TOGETHER (TXT) debuted in March of 2019, all eyes were on them. They were the newest boy group from HYBE, only the second to debut after BTS. Now, they’ve evolved from baby-faced teens to a more mature, cohesive act set on global domination. After completing The Dream Chapter series in 2020, and taking a pitstop with their last EP Minisode1: Blue Hour, which earned them a number 25 spot on the Billboard 200, TXT are now ready to venture into a new imaginative stratosphere, aptly titled The Chaos Chapter.

“With The Dream Chapter trilogy, it was about these friends who are very similar, they dream the same dream and are going on a magical journey together, but The Chaos Chapter is about a world that is under attack by COVID-19 and other things.” Soobin explains. “The ordinary days are beginning to crumble, and the boys are frozen in space, so to speak, and then, because of one person, they begin to understand and realise this emotion of love.”

The eight tracks on The Chaos Chapter: FREEZE naturally dance through the thinly veiled confines of genre for a perfect pop mix, fusing remnants of rock, punk, dancehall, and disco. It's a journey led by the Gen Z performers, and at its core, as Taehyun puts it, are “really authentic and sincere stories” told by the guys themselves. In fact, TXT’s colour is sprinkled throughout the eight songs, with a producing credit from Hueningkai, and all members taking part in lyric writing throughout. For a group just passing the two year mark, their investment in their craft and clear passion for the behind the scenes process is noteworthy.

Hueningkai beams when asked about his work on “Dear Sputnik”. “First, it’s a real great honor that I get to have people hear a song and a track that I worked on,” he says. “When I first heard that I’d be able to participate in the song I was surprised, and there were things that I thought could be better, but then I think that I will continue to improve as I talk to the label and I continue to evolve and develop.” He’s animated, and the guys listen attentively as he speaks. “The experience of working on this track helped me learn about the production process. I hope I can continue to write music and work on tracks, and also challenge myself with different genres.” Speaking on songwriting in general, he mentions: “When I work on these songs, I try to think of one theme or motif and that also helps me focus on the work.”

All the guys have plans to grow more as multi-faceted artists. Soobin wants to improve his songwriting, Yeonjun hopes to work on more genres and styles of dance, and Taehyun and Hueningkai want to work on more tracks. Beomgyu elaborates: “Working on The Chaos Chapter: FREEZE made me eager to dive deeper into songwriting. I want to write tracks that really embody my emotions and sentiments, and I’d love to share them with our MOA.” He has his current process figured out for now, though. “I tried to express what I feel when I hear the song into the lyrics. Also, the writing process itself allows me to feel different and new things about the song so I think that’s what’s really great about being able to work on these songs.”

The Chaos Chapter is about a world that is under attack by COVID-19 and other things. The ordinary days are beginning to crumble, and the boys are frozen in space, so to speak” – Soobin, TOMORROW X TOGETHER

Their work is expansive. “What if I had been that PUMA” and “No Rules” have songwriting credits from Taehyun, Beomgyu, Hueningkai, and Yeonjun. Taehyun contributed to “Dear Sputnik” along with Hueningkai, citing “a star called you that I found in this crumble and ruin of the world” as his favorite lyrics because he wrote them. Soobin worked on “Ice Cream”, a song he considers relatable, making the process more seamless. Yeonjun also wrote on “Frost”, sharing: “I talked to Bang Si-Hyuk, our producer, and then I was able to go through the lyrics and add and correct some of them.”

The lead single is “0X1=LOVESONG”, which Beomgyu gushes over. “It’s a song about confirming this emotion of love in a chaotic world, and feeling this emotion for the first time. I think it was selected as the title track because it really contains the message of the entire album, and also the performance really goes well with the track and the song.” With angelic vocals added by singer Seori and introspective lyrics by RM of BTS, it embodies a coming-of-age film, channeling wonder and firsts for youth entering new territory. Soobin starts singing his favourite line from the track, “Say you love me”, which resonated with him.

The other highlight is an English disco-pop track called “Magic”. Their last EP was their first foray into the disco pop trend, and the success and feel-good energy is palpable in this new track as well. “It’s a very lively and upbeat song that once you hear it, you won’t be able to forget it,” Yeonjun comments. “This is something that we worked really hard on and I hope that our MOA around the world can listen to the song, sing along, and really enjoy it.” The song surely carries the intended effect. When they perform “Magic”, it’s hard not to keep a smile on your face.

We then go back in time for a bit for some reflection, with Soobin taking the lead. “I don’t think I would change too many things about myself two years ago, but I think I would just say, ‘You’re doing great, and keep on doing it’.” Soobin and Yeonjun both cite their proudest moments to be winning Rookie and New Artist Awards. “I would like to tell myself, ‘Don’t worry too much’, maybe also to enjoy it a little bit more,” Yeojun says. Beomgyu echoes that advice, before adding: “My proudest moment was our first showcase and everytime we met MOA actually.”

Taehyun gets down to business: “I’d probably tell myself to open your eyes a little earlier to the songwriting.” Consequently, the music and his hand in it are what he treasures the most. “Every time there’s an album and it has our name on it – and it has MY name on it – seeing that each time really makes me proud.” Similarly, Hueningkai finds pride in contributing to the album, but advises his younger self to enjoy it more. Time does indeed fly, but throughout the span of it, TXT have accomplished a lot.

With their expressed team goal coming down to the impending possibility of performing live for fans again, and the emotions that moment will inevitably bring after so much lost time, the guys’ excitement for this comeback shines. They aren’t dubbed the leaders of the 4th generation for no reason, and with the vigour, perspective, and youth they embody, they’re lightyears ahead of the game. 

TOMORROW X TOGETHER’s The Chaos Chapter: FREEZE is out now