The last couple of weeks have been super 90’s music fun. My oldest daughter discovered her love for angry female singers, I fell down a Tegan and Sara nostalgic hole, some of my besties had a lovely conversation about music we used to obsess over (surprising no one, it was all very similar), and approximately 37 people I know all got tickets to see Alanis Morrissette, Garbage, and Liz Phair in September. And most relevant to this blog, TogetherXTomorrow (TXT) put out a new album including the most 1999 skinny white boy rock song ever and I’m completely in love with it.
I’ve said it before here – both taking pride in the fact and also a bit ashamed – that I was an incredible music snob in my teens and twenties. I was punk and ska and so on, but I looked down on mainstream pop music as it was not my thing for a myriad of solid, fact based reasons. Spoiler, I secretly loved a lot of it and spent a shit ton of time listening to emo boys whine about their soulmates loving someone else. It did and still does give me the same feelings that reading a well-written YA dystopian novel gives me. There’s something in finely crafted desperation that makes me feel both the pressure and pride in being the “chosen one” and the longing and angst of being far too inexperienced to be trusted with the responsibility of saving the world or protecting someone’s obviously damaged heart.
When the right resources, the right song, and the right styling in Kpop merge with the right group, the same effect is very much achieved. It’s hard to manage and it’s even more difficult to maintain. I’m not talking about the groups (many of which I worship) like ATEEZ and SKZ which have finally honed their dystopian concepts time after time with running themes of battling a broken system in order to not only survive but create a future where the youth have an opportunity to express themselves and conquer the jaded infrastructure created by us oldies. No, I’m talking about the simple and pure angst of rebelling against your parents while also being desperately in love with someone that is, in your eyes, clearly out of your reach. You would give anything just to have them treat you poorly, let alone worship you as you do them. Gah, so much heartache.
TXT has managed to make me feel all of those things over and over again in the video released for the title track on their latest album The Chaos Chapter: Freeze. The song, 0X1=LOVESONG (I Know I Love You), uses their full range of husky to beautifully androgynous voices to catch your breath, a heavy drum beat to mimic your heart, and the perfect rise and fall of the tempo to drag you through it all. The ripped oversized clothes, the loose jeans, the shaggy hair, the grunge adjacent everything reminds me of all of the boys I loved – one, in particular, telling me that I was too good for him and me knowing that it was the other way around. So tragically young and romantic. It speaks to my youth in the best possible way – making me feel relevant in my vintage charm.
0X1=LOVESONG (I Know I Love You), TogetherXTomorrow