Youth, how to remember the shining and insecure season

Rieun Kim
: COVID-19 has shaken the lives of teens across the world. Like the lyrics of the track “We Lost The Summer” from TOMORROW X TOGETHER’s new album “minisode1 : Blue Hour,” small but precious school memories such as “soccer shoes we ran in, exuberant energy” or “earphones we shared in secret” are paused on “the endless afternoon of March 1st.” But right now, we have no clue whether meeting our friends will be a happy moment like seeing a friendly “dog,” or a dangerous threat such as running into a “wolf.” Maybe like the track “Blue Hour,” enjoying carefree happiness between “you and me” is only possible in that instant moment “before the orange-glowing magic comes to an end” “on the boundary between the two worlds”. As the song “Way Home” describes in its lyrics as “the empty school behind,” schools remain unchanged but the way teenagers take in the new world has changed in the era of COVID-19. The seed of anxiety is growing inside them and the way they are pursuing happiness is changing. These notions can also be found in “Ghosting”, which sings about the heartbreaking breakup over social media that teenagers (who have grown up with social media) experience, and “Wishlist,” using the term for items added to an online shopping cart to describe the excitement they feel right before starting a relationship. Teens' emotions like excitement, happiness, and anxiety existed in the past and will still be there in the future. But “minisode1 : Blue Hour” portrays how teenagers are feeling and expressing their emotions in a different way in a slightly changed world. Their happiness at 5:53, whether real or virtual, is expressed through disco, a retro style but different from what we know. In a world where everything has already taken form, there is little room for teenagers to declare what's truly theirs. But still, they are rebuilding their own world by writing down small and brief moments of their lives. After releasing three albums for the "THE DREAM CHAPTER" series, "minisode1 : Blue Hour" is a delicately painted landscape of TOMORROW X TOGETHER's world. Or it could be about a new "teen spirit" brought by COVID-19.
A universe TOMORROW X TOGETHER expanded with music

Myungseok Kang
: After the three albums for “THE DREAM CHAPTER” series, TOMORROW X TOGETHER has released “minisode1 : Blue Hour,” a rest stop before the new series. The title track "Blue Hour" adds disco to their "DREAM." The beat that makes you feel like you are falling into a dream and the intro performance that embodies the clock face all gives that unique "made by TXT" impression. But the following disco sound is a newly added element to TOMORROW X TOGETHER and they are mixing this element with their own as if it was theirs all long. The performance includes disco moves to give off that cheerful and relaxing vibe, but as always, the quintet perfectly pulls off the complicated dance routines and formations. The smooth vocals make the funky rhythms stand out. Then the vocals become brighter and stronger at the chorus "Cuz of imagination," and youthful at "I want to leave a trace of you and me." Just like the entire music video soaked with a refreshing vibe, TOMORROW X TOGETHER is using disco as a tool to express the joy and spirit of the youth at 5:53. This is how an idol group applies a certain music genre to their own world. But TOMORROW X TOGETHER is doing more than just simply embracing the genre as it is. In the dance break after the second verse, members put on hats and coats and show disco moves that are interpreted in their own way. But if you look closer, the way they wear their hats and coats is meticulously organized. Dancers are used as a background and the choreography is effectively structured. Fully dressed in their hats and coats, members come to the front stage and suddenly, they are dancing disco with dancers in a spectacular scene. Flourishing the exciting and joyful energy of disco, the choreo touches our heart with youthful exuberance. The youth's sensitivity that TOMORROW X TOGETHER showed in "THE DREAM CHAPTER" is now clearer and more energetic, combined with disco in "Blue Hour." This is how TOMORROW X TOGETHER expands their world. Get ready for a new world after this “minisode”.
How to "run together forever" in "the hour between dog and wolf"

Minji Oh
: "I know we were special." We were special but now we no longer can be and when "everything changes, we’re beautiful." Like the lyrics of "Blue Hour" from "minisode1: Blue Hour," TOMORROW X TOGETHER is standing between the line of the real and virtual, between day and night. The beginning of the choreography resembles a clock that is stopped at 5:53. This is linked with the teaser photo of a Ferris wheel, a symbol of daily life, that is stopped at 5:53. The concept photos come in three versions: reality (R), virtual reality (VR), and augmented reality (AR) which lies between the two. R version photos give an impression that members are far apart but together, just like in the beginning of the performance where members stand apart but link their arms and shoulders together. In the VR version, members are wearing black and white marker style outfits or dressed up looking like game characters, as if you were in virtual reality, playing games and selecting their skills. The AR version has a blue wall and is set up as places where we can't go anymore, just like the lyrics, “The blue landed next to me / Everything changes" in "Blue Hour." Members staring at the camera with a blank and a slightly gloomy look is a stark contrast to the vivid colors, smile stickers, and places that remind us of our childhood. But in "We Lost The Summer," members sing "I don't like my blank look" and send hope by giving us a faint smile. That hope is delivered to the reality where we can't yet meet each other, hoping that we would get "Trapped in the magic" with the clock stop ticking like "Blue Hour." The boys who struggled between childhood and adulthood are now singing, "You and me of 5:53 / We’re beautiful," when others saw "the hour between dog and wolf" as the time of disaster or the time when the line between good and evil starts to blur. With their refreshing energy, TOMORROW X TOGETHER is sending us a message: hoping to be trapped in the magic, and even though “I know that the end will come," "Though I can't see any crossroads / Or anything else when I turn around," "We run together forever / When we call each other's name." That is the quintessential TOMORROW X TOGETHER.
Article. Myungseok Kang, Rieun Kim, Minji Oh
Design. Yurim Jeon
Photo Credit. BIGHIT MUSIC