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A beautiful nightmare: five takeaways from Tomorrow X Together's epic 'Eternally' music video

As much a short film as a music release, the 19-minute video can be enjoyed by K-pop fans and film buffs alike

Tomorrow X Together have returned with an epic new 19-minute music video. YouTube
Tomorrow X Together have returned with an epic new 19-minute music video. YouTube

Tomorrow X Together always had a taste for the dramatic, as evidenced in the band's name alone.

Now, they have released a music video matching their ambition.

Running at an epic 19 minutes, Eternally can be considered a surrealistic short film to be appreciated by both film buffs and K-pop fans.

It is full of evocative images that are as beautiful as they are nightmarish, with an abstract plot partially set in an apocalyptic landscape.

According to music label Big Hit Entertainment, the main theme of the release is unity.

“Eternity tells the story of young boys’ experiences meeting friends who are different yet alike,” it said in a statement.

“While they struggle with reality and rifts sometimes appear among them, the narrative encapsulates their hope that their time together will last eternally.”

Here are five things to know about Eternally.

1. A fantastic story

Fantasy and reality meet many times here. The video, which is split into seven sections, begins with the five-piece band hanging out in a rehearsal space when an earthquake strikes.

The terror of the situation launches each member into their very own dream world. Yeonjun finds himself in the middle of a destroyed and empty stadium; among the ruins, he spots his lifeless body.

Beomgyu, on the other hand, enters a door marked 17 to discover various versions of himself. Taehyun finds himself in a lavish field where he spots Yeonjun inside a purple pond. Meanwhile, Hueningkai is beamed up to a portal in the sky. While it is tough to make sense of what’s going on, the arresting visuals keep you riveted throughout.

2. It’s spooky

Tomorrow X Together member Beomgyu enters door number 17. YouTube
Tomorrow X Together member Beomgyu enters door number 17. YouTube

The video is full of horror film tropes, from the eerie child to a pair of cat eyes peering from a dark cave, an empty elevator, dark corridors and sudden bursts of volume.

3. The actual song is great

With all that drama going on and each member singing their verses minutes apart, you forget the video is there to promote a song. I recommend listening to the audio version of Eternally, as it is a more progressive offering than your standard cookie-cutter K-pop act. At a manageable 3.37 minutes, it packs a variety of styles ranging from ethereal keyboards and tribal drumming to some slick RnB.

4. The K-pop grind is real

It is well-documented that the industry views its stars as workhorses as opposed to just talent, and Tomorrow X Together provides a small yet telling glimpse of that grind in the opening scene of the video.

It is set in a dance studio where the group are rehearsing for the next tour or video. They look drained, a little irritable and rather bored. At least the nightmarish fantasy breaks up the monotony.

5. Send Seong Won-mo to Hollywood

The video serves as a great showreel for director of Seong Won-mo. As the head of Seoul production company Digipedi, Seong is a veteran director of K-pop music videos (such as Left and Right by Seventeen and So What by Loona) and commercials for leading global brands. Eternally shows that it is now time to try his hand at a Hollywood feature.

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Read more:

'Black is King': Five takeaways from Beyonce's new film trailer

Why K-pop needs to stop appropriating black culture and start collaborating more

The international rise of Korean pop music

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Updated: July 1, 2020 02:08 PM

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