K-pop band Tomorrow X Together has turned a new chapter with its new album "The Name Chapter: Temptation."
Ahead of the album's release on Friday, the five-piece act, also abbreviated as TXT, conducted a press conference in Seoul's Coex mall.
Returning nine months since its last release, the fourth EP "minisode 2: Thursday's Child," the five members expressed excitement over its latest work.
"We've met many fans through the world tour, and coming back with a new album always gives me a thrill. We're back with another album that flourishes in TXT's unique colors, so please look forward to it," Beomgyu said during the press confernce.
The new album marks the first episode of the act's new series, "The Name Chapter," which will be followed by "The Dream Chapter" and "The Chaos Chapter."
Just as with the act's previous album, "The Name Chapter: Temptation" takes a "conceptual storytelling" method, according to the act's agency Big Hit Music, in which a comprehensive story threads the whole album.
"It tells the story of youths who decide to embark on a long journey for their future but is swayed by the temptation in front of them," Soobin explained, adding, "All the tracks are connected by the central theme. If you listen to the tracks in order, you will be able to feel the emotional changes of the boy who feels happy after falling for the immediate temptation but soon realizes the reality and sets off on his own path."
Taehyun anticipates people of all ages will be able to relate to their story, especially Generation Z, the cohort that generally defines those born between 1997 and 2012, and to which the members also belong.
"We set foot inside the society full of confidence but are met by unexpected problems and face our limits. And here, many try to find an instant source of happiness. I also asked myself questions on whether it's worthwhile to sacrifice today's happiness for tomorrow. I hope Gen Z who have such insecurity about their future can relate deeply and be comforted by our music," Taehyun said.
Fronting "The Name Chapter" is the lead single "Sugar Rush Ride," an alternative pop dance tune that sings of the emotional roller-coaster ride as the protagonist gets shaken by the devil's temptation.
The bandmates said they put an extra effort into their facial expressions and acting during the performance.
"There is a part where the boy turns into the devil and then turns back into a boy. We need to show the boy falling for the temptation while tempting the audience through our performance at the same time. A sensitive control of the dynamics while performing and the vocalization were important," Taehyun explained.
Huening Kai said he was worried after hearing "Sugar Rush Ride" for the first time.
"I thought the song deviated in many ways from our expectations. It made me think a lot about how I was to make it mine. Through different attempts, we added TXT's colors to the song," Huening Kai said.
Yeonjun, on the other hand, said he had a good feeling about the song from the get-go.
"I thought it was a song we could thrive in and also show a new side of us. The song encases both sexy and fresh vibes, and it's not easy to imagine the two together. We had to think about how to convey such subtle feelings through our expressions, acting and nuances," Yeonjun said.
The album includes four other songs, "Devil by the Window," "Happy Fools (feat. Coi Leray)," "Tinnitus" and "Farewell Neverland."
The five members made "Happy Fools" together, with Yeonjun writing the melody top-line, while the other members contributed to the lyrics, telling their own stories through the song.
"It felt special since it's my first time to include a melody I wrote myself," Yeonjun said, adding, "I think the melody has turned out great in the members' voices and hopefully our fans will like it."
Yeonjun and Taehyun particiapted in writing the lyrics of "Tinnitus," and Yeonjun alone for "Farewell Neverland."
TXT is anticipating another new career high with "The Name Chapter." According to Big Hit Music, the album tallied over 2,160,000 units in pre-order sales as of Jan. 25, which surpassed the band's previous pre-order sales record of 1,470,000 copies of its fourth EP. It also eclipsed the cumulative annual sales of 1,803,050 for the same EP in 2022.
The quintet had an exceptional 2022. It set new records with its music, held its first global concert tour, "Act: Love Sick," around 13 cities and attended the American Music Awards ceremony for the first time.
Looking back on last year, Huening Kai said, "We had many setbacks after our debut due to the pandemic, but in 2022, we spent the year like artists. Conducting the world tour and attending the AMA, I feel like we've leveled up."
The five have high goals and aspirations for this year.
"They say dream big, so, our goal is to nab a No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. And since Yeonjun is emceeing on SBS' 'Inkigayo,' hopefully we can win on the show and do the encore performance with Yeonjun," Huening Kai said.
TXT's fifth EP and the music video of "Sugar Rush Ride" will be officially released at 2 p.m. on Friday.
In March, TXT is set to embark on its second world tour, "Act: Sweet Mirage," which is expected to be a 13-city, 21-concert series. The world tour will kick off with the Seoul shows slated for March 25-26 at the KSPO Dome.