Why TXT’s ‘Run Away’ is The Coming-Of-Age Journey We Were Waiting For
The South Korean group take us on a trip of imagination, adventure and an innocent belief in magic–things usually lost in the blur of adulthood
South Korean rookie boy band TOMORROW X TOGETHER aka TXT made their comeback yesterday with their first studio album The Dream Chapter: Magic. The eight-track LP follows the group’s March debut EP The Dream Chapter: Star. The two releases span a coming-of-age journey for the five members Soobin, Yeonjun, Beomgyu, Taehyun and Huening Kai.
A lot of the conversation around The Dream Chapter: Magic revolves around its lead single “9 and Three Quarters (Run Away),” an Eighties-influenced, upbeat synth-wave anthem about the safe haven friendship can provide. The video is an ode to youth, balancing the high school experience with a world of magic–kind of like a certain incredibly famous story a lot of us are familiar with.
With “Run Away”‘s title and video paying tribute to English author’s J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, there’s a couple of things TXT manage to achieve: there’s an instant trigger of nostalgia associated with the series‚ which plunges us directly into a bucket of emotions. It’s a trip back to childhoods full of imagination, adventure and an innocent belief in magic–things that at times can be lost in the blur of adulthood and dealing with the ‘real’ world. The Harry Potter series also primarily focused on friendship and it’s power to conquer moments of darkness we encounter in life and there’s a certain comfort to be reminded that where there is darkness, there will always be light. “In moments like those, when tears fill your eyes, hold my hand tight/Should we run away/We gotta be together to get to the hidden 9 ¾… Please be my eternity/Please call my name/Run away run away run away with me/At the world’s end forever together/Run away babe.”
Scenes that particularly stand out include when the members sneak in to the school’s pool at night, jumping in with no fears, and when they use magic to escape into a magical land that is all their own. Another poignant mini-storyline within the video happens right at the beginning when Beomgyu places a bandaid on a wound of Yeonjun’s finger; by the end of the video Yeonjun removes the bandaid and the wound has healed completely. The symbolism is simple, clear and powerful.
The Dream Chapter: Magic is an album that encompasses a longing to return to the carefree days of summer holidays, imaginary adventures and hanging out with your friends after school and “9 and Three Quarters (Run Away)” does its best to sum up the LP’s message. For those who are still in their teens and perhaps around the age of the members, it’s an anthem of their lives that celebrates friendship and imagination. For those of us who are older, “Run Away” is an echo of a time before bills, taxes and schedules, a brief escape from responsibility. The common ground lies in the fact that it is bittersweet for us all, because the cycle of life dictates as such; the point of it all, however, is to have enjoyed every moment while it was still within your grasp.