TXT brings together 'pansori' and fairy tale in new song 'Sugar Rush Ride'

Members of K-pop act Tomorrow X Together (TXT) pose during a press event at the COEX Auditorium in Gangnam District, southern Seoul, Thursday. Courtesy of Big Hit Music

TXT to drop fifth mini-album 'The Name Chapter: TEMPATION'

By Dong Sun-hwa

As its title implies, "Sugar Rush Ride," a new song by K-pop boy band Tomorrow X Together (TXT), is a three-minute sugar rush weaving together the elements of two different genres ― "pansori" (traditional Korean musical storytelling) and fairy tales.

The quintet, consisting of Yeonjun, Soobin, Beomgyu, Taehyun and Hueningkai, employed some lines from "Chunhyangga," one of the five surviving traditional pansori narrative forms from the 1392-1910 Joseon Kingdom. It is the love story of Chunhyang, the daughter of a courtesan, and Mongryong, the son of a magistrate.

"We made a lot of new attempts this time, fusing different elements in an unfamiliar way," Hueningkai said during a press conference at the COEX Auditorium in Gangnam District, southern Seoul, Thursday. "We used some parts of 'Chunhyangga' in our lyrics and featured the movements of Korean traditional dance in our choreography."

Taehyun elaborated, "We believe our Korean fans will find this combination fresh and our international followers will get the chance to explore Korea's traditional culture and story."

The teaser for TXT's upcoming EP, "The Name Chapter: TEMPTATION" / Courtesy of Big Hit Music

As they said, "Sugar Rush Ride" ― the lead single off TXT's upcoming mini-album, "The Name Chapter: TEMPTATION" ― does not center only on the time-honored cultural asset. Its music video also features Neverland, a fictional island found in the tale of Peter Pan, where children never grow up.

"Our new EP revolves around the boys who have to give up freedom and joy to achieve maturity," Soobin explained. "So we featured Neverland to depict how they fall into temptation for a while (before they thrust it away)."

"The Name Chapter: TEMPTATION" carries five tracks about the boys who plan to begin a new journey to their future. But they are soon met with the "temptations of the devils," which lure them to give up and enjoy this relaxing moment. The tunes ― "Devil by the Window," "Sugar Rush Ride," "Happy Fools," "Tinnitus" and "Leaving Neverland" ― have a gripping narrative flow like a film and are all connected to one another.

"When we sing our lead track, we go back and forth from the boys to the devils," Taehyun said. "So we tried to control the dynamics when we recorded it."

TXT, which has already racked up more than 2 million pre-orders for its upcoming EP, has big ambitions for 2023.

"I hope we can top Billboard's main albums chart," Hueningkai said. "It will also be great if we can rank first on SBS' music show 'Inkigayo,' which has our member Yeonjun as its emcee."

"The Name Chapter: TEMPTATION" will be unleashed at 2 p.m., Friday (KST).

Dong Sun-hwa sunhwadong@koreatimes.co.kr

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