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Tomorrow X Together Is Living the Daydream

The K-pop group on their latest EP, showing a new side of themselves and why there’s “no set definition of masculinity.”

by Crystal Bell

Tomorrow X Together

Through the right camera lens, youth is often portrayed as a dreamworld—smooth at the edges and achingly gentle, like a garden in bloom. It's an illusion the K-pop group Tomorrow X Together knows well. Since their debut in 2019, the boy band often referred to as TXT has become a voice for their generation, deftly confronting volatile coming-of-age feelings and adolescent malaise in their own foreboding, whimsical way. From heartbreak to loneliness, they've laid their vulnerabilities bare across a body of work that spans two albums and five EPs. Their latest, The Name Chapter: Temptation, finds the K-pop quintet lost in their very own Neverland, where the most beautiful flowers are the most dangerous.

There's a hazy ambience to the group's visual imagery that's especially present in this depiction of Neverland. In early concept photos for Temptation, the group’s five members Soobin, Yeonjun, Beomgyu, Taehyun, and Hueningkai—who range in age from 20 to 23 years old—idly wander barefoot around a lush forest in billowy textiles. Open vests and loose cardigans fall off their shoulders, exposing skin dusted with glitter. It's a delicate expression of masculinity, tender and pliable. As harsher sounds and darker aesthetics continue to dictate trends among today's boy groups, Tomorrow X Together eschews impenetrable bravado for radical sensitivity—painting a portrait of boyhood that's both beautiful and anguished, where daydreams and nightmares swirl on canvas. It's one of the reasons why their global popularity has boomed following an electrifying Lollapalooza set last summer.

Tomorrow X Together


With over 2.1 million stock pre-orders recorded, The Name Chapter: Temptation is on track to become their highest-selling album yet, and there's already a U.S. arena tour in the works. Ahead of its release on January 27, I caught up with TXT over Zoom, where they joined the video call from a studio in Seoul late in the evening. Even amidst a hectic day of press, their restless energy was palpable as they fired off inside jokes and swapped teasing glances. Below, we discuss the visual themes of the album, their favorite photoshoots, and why there's no "set definition" of masculinity they feel the need to follow.

As Tomorrow X Together, you've explored various visual themes. You were ice princes in The Chaos Chapter: Freeze and then wrapped in leather from head to toe for Minisode 2: Thursday's Child. Do you have a favorite concept?

Soobin: I liked the concept of our debut album. I didn't like it much at the time, but looking back now I like it, because we could only do it at that age and level of experience.

Beomgyu: I liked The Chaos Chapter: Freeze the best. I also had long hair back then, and I think that's why I feel more affectionate toward it now.

Taehyun: I personally like Freeze as well. It was new. I remember the idea was for each of us to express the point of view of a lover. I have never been someone's lover before, so it was something new and interesting for me.

So it was an acting challenge.

Taehyun: Unfortunately.

Is there one look or concept that you think defines Tomorrow X Together?

Taehyun: Without a doubt, to define our concept in one word, it would have to be "youth." The stories we want to share are about the experiences that our generation faces as we grow up.

Your latest album, which is very much inspired by Peter Pan, has four different visual versions: Daydream, Nightmare, Farewell and Lullaby. Each has its own unique visual aesthetic and accompanying cover, photocard and photobook. What inspired some of these visuals?

Yeonjun: I think it'll be best to explain this using our photos. The concept for this album is "temptation." In the Daydream photos, we wanted to illustrate an image of someone forgetting about their dream and falling into temptation. In Nightmare, we're depicting a beautiful and fantastic nightmare as sugar, something sweet and colorful. In Farewell, we wanted to show the journey of leaving this Neverland of temptation to move to another star. It's like us coming back to reality after overcoming these temptations. On the other hand, in Lullaby, we play the role of Peter Pan, and we become the temptation.

I'm glad you mentioned Daydream because I think your fans were most surprised by those photos. They're really stunning. Did you anticipate that reaction?

Taehyun: I personally think it was a very bold attempt, so I was looking forward to seeing the results. At the same time, I was worried that fans would feel kind of unfamiliar with this new side of us and indifferent towards it, but I'm really, really grateful that everyone loved it so much.

Tomorrow X Together’s Daydream photoshoot


Can you put that new side into words?

Taehyun: It's new in both sound and theme. We’d like to describe our single "Sugar Rush Ride" as fresh, dreamy, and sexy at the same time. The new choreography also really elevates the song.

Is there a member you think fits that concept the best?

Beomgyu: I think everyone fits it well, but I think I did it best.

Soobin: I agree. Everyone fits well, but if I had to choose one member it would be Soobin.

Yeonjun: I personally think Soobin fit Daydream the best.

Soobin: Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Yeonjun: Because he has a fair complexion, and also he bleached his hair this time, so it all came together quite well with the naturalistic background and the sunshine shining down on him. He reminded me of Edward from Twilight.

Soobin: "Edward Soobin." Yes.

Yeonjun: Oh my God.

When I look at those photos I see a really soft, gentle expression of masculinity. Has being an idol changed your idea of masculinity at all?

Taehyun: I don't think that there is a set definition of masculinity that we have to follow. It just happened to be that for this shoot, we were thinking about how we can best depict one's fall into temptation in the most beautiful way possible and how the photos can be taken in the most beautiful way. So I think the softness is a result of this thinking process.

Do you feel like your visuals are part of what makes Tomorrow X Together stand out?

Hueningkai: I don’t think that enjoying music is just an auditory experience. There are ways to expand that experience through movements and choreography, costumes, or through sets and lighting which our tour team puts a lot of hard work into. We want our listeners to have the full Tomorrow X Together experience, so visual imagery is also important to us in that regard.

Among the different shoots for the album, which did you like the most?

Soobin: I personally like Daydream because although we expressed Neverland as a place we need to leave in our album, I think that when most people hear the word Neverland they imagine a place that is beautiful and filled with happiness. Daydream was really beautiful, and I think it would look like this if it was to exist. It was so close to the Neverland I had imagined.

Beomgyu: For me, Farewell resonated with me the most. You know how the photoshoot was based on the idea of someone about to leave something behind? During the photoshoot, I had to think of someone with happy memories while they were at this place, the anxious feelings they experience during, and the emptiness you feel when it's time to leave.

Taehyun: I choose Farewell as well. I think the members did a great job expressing the ambition to overcome temptation even just with their gaze.

What's a temptation you're struggling to overcome these days?

Yeonjun: Delicious food, always. Right now it's ramen.

Taehyun: For me, the greatest temptation is the temptation that pulls me back into bed every morning.

Beomgyu: For me, I think it's vacation. It's tempting me even right now. I am working hard each day, looking forward to that day we go on vacation.

Hueningkai: For me, it's the person inside the mirror, myself, that tempts me the most.

Yeonjun: Oh my God.

Soobin: Are you sure it's not the temptation to break the mirror? I think [our fans] MOA are my greatest temptation. I can't live without MOA.

Beomgyu: Of course, me too! You had the same thought as me!

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