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.
Michi: "Still Feel U"
Crafting the perfect fall playlist is a doozy. Autumn is unpredictable — some days, the air is as crisp as the hemline on your new jacket, while others are a nonstop gloom fest of cloudy skies and mixed signals. Thankfully, we need not look further than alt-pop newcomer Michi for a sound suited to the season. With a ’70s touch and playful hints of folk and fog, the North Hollywood native's music is a guaranteed groove and sway. Her latest, "Still Feel U," is a maple-glazed, autumn-hazed, steady-burning slow jam in the name of addictive romance. She contemplates her malleability in forcing things to work ("What ya think about me / Want me to kill all my identities I had before") before dancing along with the hurt and heartbreak: "You got me hiding from the sun / And when you let me down / I still feel you baby." The vintage visual plays like an homage to retro L.A., with glitter, lo-fi, and meditative nights with friends. Come for the good vibes, and stay for Michi's killer dance moves. —Carson Mlnarik
Frances Quinlan: "Rare Thing"
That voice. If you've ever heard a Hop Along song, you know the power of that voice. It belongs to band leader Frances Quinlan, and I once wrote that it could "make you reevaluate your entire diction." (I stand by this.) That's what makes "Rare Thing," a solo Quinlan venture, such a treat: The action is once again centered around her voice, though blended with wiggly keyboards and a slamming backbeat. Like some of my favorite Hop Along jams, it opens up halfway through to reveal whimsical treasures only hinted at before. Quinlan's solo album, Likewise, is out January 31. —Patrick Hosken
If you're not yet onboard the Anitta train, "Pantera" should change your mind. The Brazilian pop goddess slinks her way onto the stacked Charlie's Angels album with a sultry warning: She's "dangerous," so you "better be careful." Channeling her jungle-cat instincts ("pantera" means "panther" in Portuguese), Anitta doesn't ride the beat so much as she floats above it, ready to pounce at any moment. I'm imagining this one soundtracking a scene where the Angels seduce and then poison some crusty villainous men before strutting off into the sunset; it's just got that swagger. The only *bad* thing about this bop is that it clocks in at a scant two minutes... but that just means the replay potential is strong. —Madeline Roth
Galxara: "Waste My Youth"
"My time's like a million dollars / I could spend it anywhere." Galxara ("Gal-ex-ara," if you're in the know) gives us a mantra to live by in her electric "Waste My Youth," where she serves up a glittery mixture of Freddie Mercury, Mika, and Paloma Faith. I was addicted to this song the moment I heard it, and I'm absolutely blown away that it isn't bigger than it is. Wait for it – Galxara is coming, and she's going to totally own 2020. Take it from someone who listened to and championed Lizzo before she became a cultural icon: This is an artist to watch. —Brittany Vincent
Eliza & The Delusionals: "Just Exist"
"Just Exist" from Australia's Eliza & The Delusionals is a hooky emo-pop bop that wrestles with romance in the face of growing pains. "Is this what 22 feels like?" ponders frontwoman Eliza Klatt. "Do you feel alive? Or are you just killing time?" But it's the final chorus, where Klatt's vocals jump an octave and she really starts flexing her vocal range, stopping just short of a full-on scream, that will cause the hairs on the back of your neck to stand up. I guarantee it. —Bob Marshall
Lady Gaga: "Bad Romance"
"Ra-ra-ah-ah-ah / Roma-roma-ma / Gaga, ooh la-la / Want your bad romance" — the refrain that launched a thousand bops. "Bad Romance" by the incomparable Lady Gaga turns 10 this week, and it's good time to reflect. The Fame Monster's lead single single showed the then-ingenue evolving into a serious tastemaker and indisputable pop culture icon. It also ushered in a new era for Gaga and solidified her status as a pop juggernaut. "Bad Romance," with its gritty, dark synths, was the perfect introduction to the dark EP as well as a new era in pop. Soon, everyone else was playing catch-up. —Dan McKenna
Selena Gomez: "Lose You to Love Me"
Hindsight really is 20/20. There are words we've spoken we wish we could take back, friends we've given too many chances to, and toxic relationships that made us lose the essence of who we are. But on Selena Gomez's powerful new single, "Lose You to Love Me," the singer’s thrown out her rose-tinged lenses and reclaimed the best parts of herself. She's not just starting a new chapter; she's writing a new book.
"You promised the world and I fell for it," Gomez sings softly over piano on the first verse. "I put you first and you adored it." And while she may have held on a little too tightly to a love that clouded her judgment and dimmed her light, what matters now is that she's made it to the other side. Here, she knows her self-worth. "We'd always go into it blindly / I needed to lose you to find me," she sings. And when an exuberant choir joins in on the final chorus, Gomez officially says goodbye to the relationship she sacrificed so much for only to gain a few scars. From here on out, it's all self-love. —Jordyn Tilchen
The 1975: "Frail State of Mind"
The latest single from The 1975's upcoming fourth album, "Frail State of Mind" is somewhat of a sequel to the band's hit "TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME." Its glitchy electronic beat will sound instantly familiar, but instead of exploding into a bouncy pop chorus, it never wavers from its dreamlike melody. Frontman Matty Healey told Dazed that the song was inspired by pioneering U.K. electronic producer Burial, explaining that it's about his "social anxiety, you know, going out," exemplified through personal lyrics like "Go outside? Seems unlikely / I'm sorry that I missed your call / I watched it ring." Notes on a Conditional Form, which is shaping up to be the band's most personal and experimental album yet, is out February 21. —Bob Marshall
Sasha Sloan: "Keep On"
The mind can be a very, very dark place, and Sasha Sloan gets it. On "Keep On," the singer-songwriter tackles anxiety and depression, reminding those who struggle with mental illness that although it my feel like it, they're never alone. "The walls are starting to cave in," she sings over the bright acoustic pre-chorus. "Sometimes I wish I was somebody else." Sloan’s willingness to openly express her struggles and coping mechanisms isn't just relatable — it's refreshing. But this isn't merely a track about struggling; it's about putting one foot in front of the other even on days you don't want to. "OK baby, you'll be OK," she reminds herself on the song's hopeful and upbeat chorus. "You just gotta keep on breathing / Even when your lungs have run out of air." The track is full of ups and downs, but its message is clear: Living with a mental illness isn't easy, but "you just gotta keep on rolling." —Jordyn Tilchen