The search for the ever-elusive "bop" is difficult. Playlists and streaming-service recommendations can only do so much. They often leave a lingering question: Are these songs really good, or are they just new?
Enter Bop Shop, a hand-picked selection of songs from the MTV News team. This weekly collection doesn't discriminate by genre and can include anything — it's a snapshot of what's on our minds and what sounds good. We'll keep it fresh with the latest music, but expect a few oldies (but goodies) every once in a while, too. Get ready: The Bop Shop is now open for business.
Billie Eilish: "Wish You Were Gay"
I first saw the term "kitchen-sink rock" last year, when NPR used it to describe global musical entity Superorganism. If we're talking kitchen-sink pop though, we have to mention Billie Eilish. Try to inventory all the aural gizmos Eilish and her creative partner/brother Finneas employ on "Wish You Were Gay" — splashy handclaps, canned laughter, a stereo-panned clicking like bicycle spokes — and you'll likely come up at least a dozen short. Eilish is meticulous; on another song, she recorded over 90 takes of the word "don't" to get it right. "Wish You Were Gay" sounds like an in-the-box idea — that trusty feel-good, four-chord sweep — clawing its way out. No sink required. —Patrick Hosken
Find yourself someone to love you as much as Sunmi loves synths. Following her critically acclaimed 2018 EP, Warning, the Korean artist quietly released her seductive new single "Noir" last week — but at this point in her prolific K-pop career, a new Sunmi cut feels like an event, with or without promo. The moody track, written and produced by Sunmi, has a heavy '80s influence with a hypnotic hook. And when it comes to Sunmi, there's so much more beneath the surface: The darkly captivating visual is a commentary on contributing to a culture that's consumed by likes and views, even to the detriment of your physical and mental health. She's hardly the first to make this point, but Sunmi's enticing delivery is the most lethal. —Crystal Bell
Michael Abels: Luniz's "I Got 5 On It (feat. Michael Marshall) [Tethered Mix from Us]"
I wonder what it feels like for your brain to unravel like a mummy after a yanked string. It's what this new mix of "I Got 5 On It" for Jordan Peele's forthcoming horror film Us sounds like. The dark twin of Luniz's 1995 marijuana hit of the same name even begins with the signature chant letting the person walking out of the room know that you have some money to put towards the smoke. But where the original's head-knocking bass kicks in after some jumpy loops, this modern day version spirals into insanity. Every single morsel of the beat's identity is plucked from its comfortable setting, its insignificant background sounds stretched until uncomfortable. The "I Got 5 On It" chant devolves into a somber moan of despair. Imagine a warehouse bathed in dim red lights, where a mysterious assailant stalks behind, dragging a pitchfork as sparks fly. That's what we feel here. This darkness, this evil — it's deafening. But it's also deliciously good. Evil is subjective. —Trey Alston
The Derevolutions: "Just One Look"
When I dropped this sunny bop into our work chat, one of my colleagues exclaimed, "This song makes me want to be in loveeeeee!" Boasting an infectious dose of throwback '60s soul, Boston-based three-piece The Derevolutions have bestowed upon us an anthem for love in bloom with "Just One Look," just in time for spring. —Bob Marshall
AJR: "100 Days"
I fell in love with AJR the first time I heard "Sober Up," a bittersweet plea to a loved one to help someone "feel something again," with a whimsical singsong chorus and some help from Weezer's Rivers Cuomo to bring it full circle as a track that felt like light pining for a relationship from the past. So when I heard "100 Bad Days," the group's latest single, I fell for it, too. The indie-pop trio penned a track all about taking the lemons life unceremoniously tosses at you and making the sweetest lemonade you've ever tasted – or one killer story about how one of them gave you a black eye. It soars as a reminder that no matter what negativity you face in your everyday life, you can turn it all into something great, or at least become more interested because of the experience. Brighter days are most certainly coming, no matter what you're going through. —Brittany Vincent
Hozier: "Say My Name" (cover)
Hozier, the singer with a voice of melancholy gold, just released a follow-up to his debut album after five years, but it's his Spotify cover of Destiny's Child’s iconic "Say My Name" that will truly wring your heart. If only Hozier's lover would just say his name out loud, then maybe we wouldn't be stuck sadly swaying to the sorrowful beat, whispering along with the background vocals. Until then, this one is going on repeat. —Carson Mlnarik
Tomorrow X Together: "Our Summer"
It’s hardly summer yet — though, that extra hour of sunlight does weird things to our brains — but that’s not stopping the internet from forecasting which song will be deemed the definitive "Song of the Summer" come late August. It’s a fool's errand, really. Because we already have our Song of the Summer and it's called "Our Summer." (See? It's even in the song title!) A B-side off K-pop quintet Tomorrow X Together’s debut mini-album, "Our Summer" is an upbeat bop with the stickiest hook of the year — and it's guaranteed to make you dance and boost your serotonin levels. "If we're together, feel like summer," the group sings over a playful synth-pop melody. And if that's not the spirit of summer, then what is? And if you think a non-English song can't be crowned the Song of the Summer, then I have one word for you: "Despacito." —Crystal Bell