In 2019, when the K-pop group Tomorrow X Together (TXT for short) first debuted, they were best known as the first BigHit Entertainment boy band since BTS. Those days went as quickly as they arrived.
The quintet of Yeonjun, Soobin, Taehyun, HueningKai, and Beomgyu are one of the most influential contemporary K-pop groups, lovingly referred to as “K-pop’s voice for Gen Z” for their high-concept, relatable albums and their fearless genre eclecticism.
No two records are the same, but the accolades are many. Last year, TXT made their US debut at Lollapalooza, the famed festival in Chicago. This year, they became the first ever K-pop group to headline it, a few months after their album, The Name Chapter: Temptation, debuted at No 1 on the Billboard 200.
On Friday (Oct 13), TXT released another album, The Name Chapter: Freefall. There’s a very specific, whimsical mythology behind it: Temptation centred on a narrative of young people on the brink of adulthood, feeling tempting by false illusions of an everlasting childhood, playing with imagery of Peter Pan and Neverland. Freefall breaks away from that place.
It is a “freefall into reality”, as HueningKai explains it to The Associated Press, speaking through an interpreter.
The Name Chapter: Freefall is about growing up and simultaneously celebrating youth, as evidenced in songs like the ’80s-inspired synth-y new wave track, Chasing The Dream, or more explicitly in the nu-metal opener Growing Pain.
“Growing isn’t easy,” Taehyun says of the latter song. “Growing requires growing (through) pain all the time. That’s why we have this kind of sound and look.”