November 26, 2020

Blue Hour’s Meaning and Teen Year Lessons

10 min read

The coronavirus pandemic drastically changed TOMORROW X TOGETHER’s second year as a group, like all other musicians who have needed to put touring plans on hold. But it hasn’t stopped the five-piece teen K-pop boy band’s prolific musical output; in fact, it shaped their latest release, minisode1 : Blue Hour, which came out on Monday, October 26.

In the less than two years since TOMORROW X TOGETHER’s March 2019 debut, the five-piece K-pop boy band has released one full album and three EPs, including minisode1 : Blue Hour. During their first month as a group alone, the boys made Billboard chart history when they became the fastest K-pop act to top World Albums and World Digital Song Sales Charts with their lead single “Crown” and first EP The Dream Chapter: Star. They also captured the hearts of millions of fans (whose official fandom name is MOA), with their Instagram boasting 7.3 million followers, Twitter six million followers, and the millions of views on their every YouTube video.

Their new EP minisode1 : Blue Hour, with its wistful but bright tracks, explores the teen experience quarantining during the pandemic while touching on the deeper themes of dealing with unfamiliarity and the loss of routine, as the group explains to ELLE. With their lead single “Blue Hour” specifically, the song has a resonating message to all, SOOBIN says: “Even though we may feel solitude in these times, we will continue to hope we still feel the same way as one another.”

All but one member of TXT are in their late teen years—YEONJUN is 21 while HUENINGKAI and TAEHYUN are 18, and SOOBIN and BEOMGYU are 19—and the group has progressively taken a more active role creating their music. The boys talk to ELLE about every track on minisode 1 : Blue Hour‘s meaning, how their MOA fan base changed the way they see themselves over the past year, and the biggest lessons they’ve learned during their teen years.

tomorrow x together

Big Hit Entertainment

Tell ELLE a little bit about what inspired the theme of minisode1 : Blue Hour. Is there anything you can tease about the symbolism of 5:53?

TOMORROW X TOGETHER: 5:53 PM is actually the time of sunset in October here in Seoul. You could also call it the hour between dog and wolf. “Blue Hour,” the lead single of minisode1 : Blue Hour, is about that moment in sunset when the sky becomes too dark for one to distinguish their surroundings. The song reflects the conflicting yet coexisting senses of familiarity and unfamiliarity as we look at the world and at our friends around us right now in this blue hour.

Take ELLE through each track of the EP. What is each song’s meaning?

TAEHYUN: “Ghosting” is the song that kicks off our new EP. It’s an Indie Rock slash 1980s’ vibe Nu Gaze track. You can probably guess what this song is about: ghosting, also known as cutting off communication and disappearing without a word. In this song, we express the confusion and disheartenment of a boy who has become cut off and isolated. The person he has been talking with stops responding, and he wishes they would come back. SOOBIN and I helped write the lyrics.

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SOOBIN: “Blue Hour” is TOMORROW X TOGETHER’s take on Disco. It’s mellow but bright and energetic with lots of great instrumentals like synth sounds and guitar as well as groovy bass. It’s about 5:53 PM, the hour of sunset in Seoul in October. More specifically, it’s about the beauty and darkness that comes with sunset. The scene is mesmerizing, but it’s also too dark to recognize and “know” the people around us, including our friends. There are concepts of unfamiliarity in familiar surroundings; the song expresses a message: even though we may feel solitude in these times, we will continue to hope we still feel the same way as one another.

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BEOMGYU: TOMORROW X TOGETHER has always told our own story through our music. “We Lost The Summer” was created as we were brainstorming what stories we could tell amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. People lost routineness in their lives; people of our age couldn’t even physically attend school anymore. This song is a teen narrative about the changes in the world this year. In terms of the sound, it’s a refreshing Dance Hall track with amazing guitar sounds. Also, thanks to Charli XCX for her contributions to this track.

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HUENINGKAI: I helped write the lyrics of “Wishlist” together with YEONJUN and TAEHYUN. “Wishlist” is about wanting to give a special someone the perfect birthday gift, but they won’t tell you what it is they want. As everyone can probably imagine, this is really hard to figure out. I think that it’s a very relatable subject for many people. The song is Pop-rock, and it’s very bright and refreshing. I think our fans will like it.

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YEONJUN: “Way Home” is about the way back home from school. It’s the same path and scenery we walk through almost every day, but in this track, everything around us seems foreign and surreal like a mirage in a desert or a figment of our imagination, and we grow a little unsettled. The message of this song is that regardless of everything, as long as we continue to remember each other, we will stay together forever.

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Minisode1 : Blue Hour explores a variety of music genres, from disco to R&B. What genre is your favorite to experiment in so far and why?

SOOBIN: My choice is “Blue Hour.” Disco is fantastic to both record and dance to.

YEONJUN: “Way Home.” I love Future R&B, so recording this track was a really great and enjoyable experience for me.

BEOMGYU: “Ghosting” was really memorable for me. It’s Indie Rock and Nu Gaze. I had a lot of fun while recording this song—there was a lot of emotional excitement all around.

TAEHYUN: “Blue Hour,” the lead single. It’s Disco Dance Pop and very upbeat and exciting so I couldn’t keep still from dancing during the recording process.

HUENINGKAI: I really enjoyed “Blue Hour” and “Wishlist.” I’ve never tried Disco before, and “Blue Hour” is our interpretation of the genre. They’re both very fun tracks, so I really liked recording them.

tomorrow x together

Big Hit

You’ve all had a more active role writing the songs on this EP. What track are you most proud of and why? How has your song-writing evolved over the last year?

TXT: This album encompasses a lot of genres like Disco, Nu Gaze, Future R&B, Dance Hall, and Pop Rock. It was a great experience working with all of them. Our lead single “Blue Hour” is great because it’s TOMORROW X TOGETHER’s unique take on Disco. In terms of the EP as a whole, we had great experiences brainstorming ideas and writing lyrics. SOOBIN and TAEHYUN helped write the lyrics for “Ghosting,” and YEONJUN, TAEHYUN, and HUENINGKAI helped with the lyrics for “Wishlist.” We’ve grown musically in that we were able to immerse ourselves into the music and expand our understanding. Some of us have become agile in the lyric-writing process, and we’d like to think our musical spectrum has widened.

You debuted during this big moment of K-pop really taking off in the U.S. and globally. How does it feel to now be part of it, representing K-pop abroad alongside BTS and other peer groups?

TXT: Thank you for your kind words. We don’t think that we “represent” K-pop; we’re simply doing our best at what we can do.

yeonjun

YEONJUN

Big Hit Entertainment

What is your dream goal of accomplishing in the U.S. music scene?

SOOBIN: I’d like to perform at a large venue in front of many people. I think it will be an extremely valuable experience.

YEONJUN: It’d be a dream to collaborate with globally renowned artists on stage at an iconic music award ceremony.

BEOMGYU: I want to go on tour and perform in front of many, many of our fans. I wish there would be MOA to greet us wherever we go.

TAEHYUN: I want to become an acclaimed artist. It would mean a lot if TOMORROW X TOGETHER could perform for a big award show.

HUENINGKAI: Collaborations with other artists would be an honor. I’d also like to participate in an award show and perform for many people.

hueningkai

HUENINGKAI

Big Hit Entertainment

What’s been the biggest lesson you’ve taken from your teenage years as you enter your 20s (or get close to them)?

SOOBIN: Don’t rush yourself. Do your best at your own pace.

YEONJUN: There are certain things you can only do as a teenager. Enjoy these things. No regret.

BEOMGYU: Be happy.

TAEHYUN: Stay diligent!

HUENINGKAI: Enjoy music and positivity.

beomgyu

BEOMGYU

Big Hit Entertainment

What have you learned about friendship from the close bonds you’ve built with each other?

SOOBIN: Opening up and sharing your thoughts will strengthen your friendship.

YEONJUN: Don’t be afraid of conflict.

BEOMGYU: If there is something on your mind, speak it out and listen to one another. Great friends will be able to smile again together as though nothing had happened.

TAEHYUN: I think that real friendship is about addressing conflicts instead of avoiding them.

HUENINGKAI: I’ve learned to deal with issues quickly and efficiently through team discussions.

soobin

SOOBIN

Big Hit Entertainment

How has getting to know and interact with your MOA fan base changed the way you see yourself?

SOOBIN: I wasn’t so sure of my strengths but our MOA have made me more assured of myself.

YEONJUN: Our wonderful MOA always give me confidence and pride.

BEOMGYU: I had a chance to look into myself as a person.

TAEHYUN: As our MOA have been very kind and supportive with their words, I have even more faith in myself.

HUENINGKAI: Conversations with our MOA have grown more and more enjoyable by day. I’ve gotten to know our fans better and I think we’ve really found a lot of common ground.

taehyun

TAEHYUN

Big Hit Entertainment

For those new to TXT, what songs do you recommend they listen to? Give us your essential playlist.

TXT: We’d like to suggest: “CROWN,” “Run Away,” “Can’t You See Me?,” “Blue Hour,” “Our Summer,” and “Maze in the Mirror.”

This content is imported from YouTube. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

This content is imported from YouTube. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

This content is imported from YouTube. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

This content is imported from YouTube. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

This content is imported from YouTube. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

This has been a really unusual year with COVID changing the way everyone lives and putting all tours on hold for a bit. But what has been your favorite moment from this year in quarantine?

TXT: We miss our fans a lot and wanted very dearly to meet them. We put our all into preparing this EP so that we could present our MOA with great music. We’re very excited to be able to share new music. Although we can’t meet in person yet, we were able to interact on socials. Those interactions were probably our favorite moments.

As a group, you’re maturing in the public eye. How has your fashion evolved over these past two years? How would you describe your personal style off-duty and on-duty, for this era?

SOOBIN: I don’t think my style has changed much at all. I prioritize comfort and prefer warm clothes in the winter and breezy ones in the summer.

YEONJUN: I still enjoy trying a variety of styles.

BEOMGYU: Compared to my trainee days, my attire is a lot more relaxed. I wear whatever feels best.

TAEHYUN: I prefer t-shirts and shorts. It’s the most comfortable for both mind and body.

HUENINGKAI: I still wear a lot of hoodies and track pants so that I can stay comfortable during rehearsals or when working on music. When I go out, I try on different things.

tomorrow x together

Big Hit Entertainment

What can you tease about what’s next for TXT? Are there any themes musically you’d like to explore in your future songwriting?

TXT: We want to share a lot of great music. We want to become a group that can process any theme and concept, and show the world our many talents as a multifaceted group.

SOOBIN: I ’d like to try A cappella.

YEONJUN: Future R&B, Rap, and Hip hop.

BEOMGYU: I think it would be cool to try more acoustic sounds.

TAEHYUN: I like Soul.

HUENINGKAI: I would like to try Piano Rock someday!

You can stream minisode1 : Blue Hour on YouTube here and on Spotify here.

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