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A Summery Ballad By Kim Petras, A Savage Remix From Megan Thee Stallion, And More Songs We Like

Songs for self-reflecting, self-accepting, and slathering on sunscreen

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.

  • JoJo: “Small Things”

    JoJo is back! (Stream Good to Know for clearer skin.) The pop singer’s first new release in four years is a candid peek at a woman taking stock of her growth, bad habits, relationships, and insecurities. While you can spin tracks like “Pedialyte” and “Man” late into the night, the stripped-down ballad “Small Things” is the perfect fit for 3 a.m. feels. There are distinctions between big problems and small ones, and between “doing fine” and “doing great”; line by line, JoJo puts her walls down and lets us in, and we’ve never felt more together feeling so alone. —Carson Mlnarik

  • Overcoats: “New Shoes”

    Spring fever, Venus retrograde, two months in quarantine — for whatever reason, I can’t stop reflecting on past relationships. “New Shoes,” a recent release from New York-based indie-pop duo Overcoats, puts music to those musings. Vocalists Hana Elion and JJ Mitchell’s sweet harmonies are backed by bird calls and a minimalist guitar melody, underscoring lyrics that are quietly profound (“I’m only yours if you’re gonna be / Someone who’s good, someone who’s good to me”). The soft ballad is a standout track from Overcoats, whose sophomore album, The Fight, dropped in April. —Sam Manzella

  • Kailee Morgue: “Wisconsin Ave”

    Live drums on a pop song, in this economy? Kailee Morgue, the 21-year-old voice behind genre-collage cuts “Medusa” and “F**k U” has invested in a proper kit to help new torch song “Wisconsin Ave” really blaze. As she captures both the thrills and worries of a dizzying romance (a ring, a couch, a T-shirt), Morgue takes flight on wings made of glockenspiel chimes, pounding bass, and naturally, plenty of tight snare pops. Max Bemis once used “go analog, baby!” as a dis. Here, it feels like a revelation. —Patrick Hosken

  • Store Front: “Fugirlzi”

    If navigating this pandemic has taught me anything, it’s that no matter how calm I am as a baseline, on occasion, I still play hopscotch on the spectrum of emotion. “Fugirlzi,” a track off Brooklyn indie outfit Store Front's debut EP Task, captures that kind of frazzled composure perfectly. The song, like many tracks on the warm, '90s-influenced collection, manages to be as soothing and buttery as it is dance-worthy. But its message of complexity about the ebb and flow of relationships and the duality of one's own mind — wrought with conviction and questioning — feels so appropriate in a time when certainty feels about as much of a sure thing as a tenant on a month-to-month lease. “We’ve got something in common / We’ve got nothing in common,” the hook beckons. “What she knows she knows she knows,” hits close to home because we’ve all been there; we’re there now — sure of something until we aren’t. —Virginia Lowman

  • Gum Country: “Tennis (I Feel OK)”

    I will always adore “Tour” by The Courtneys, a driving getaway of a tune that throbs with motivation. Courtney Garvin’s latest project, Gum Country, distills that same electricity into an undeniable, Strokesian slice of escapism. At its core, it’s a modest plea to play some tennis, a simple activity that might also be the only way to feel alright at the moment. As razor-blade guitars coalesce into a great ohm, Garvin repeats about a dozen times, “I feel OK.” And you know what? Me too. —Patrick Hosken

  • Lennon Stella: “Older Than I Am”

    When you’re stuck somewhere between being a carefree teenager and responsible adult, it’s normal for your life’s trajectory to be a little blurry. However, that’s never been the case with Lennon Stella, as her vision for her music has always been crystal clear. With the release of her newest single, “Older Than I Am,” Stella takes her fans back in time to revisit her country roots on an otherwise dance-pop album. Stella wistfully mourns a childhood of purity and innocence lost to the reality of fame and adulthood. Her lyrics ebb and flow between wishing her life could be different and accepting that it never could have been. “Sometimes I wish I could do something stupid / Be kinda reckless while I can / Say I don’t give a damn,” she sings, “I’m older than I am.” It’s always interesting how the most intricately detailed songs end up being the most universal, but that’s just what Stella does best. —Sarina Bhutani

  • Peach Tree Rascals: “Not OK”

    The creations from Los Angeles creative collective Peach Tree Rascals are usually buoyant and colorful, with tracks about love, coming home, and good times. However, they take a darker turn with new single “Not OK,” a marked soundtrack for being at rock bottom from its very opening line, “Now I’m so done.” Past indiscretions come flooding back over an electronic beat that feels like you’re the last one on the dance floor, and the song’s glitchy lyric video hits even harder as the group navigates their socially distanced neighborhood at night. It’s OK to not be OK! —Carson Mlnarik

  • Kim Petras: “Malibu”

    Summer is right around the corner, but with most beaches closed you probably won’t be catching waves anytime soon. For the next best thing try Kim Petras’s new sun-soaked bop, “Malibu,” where the German pop star sings about Curacao kisses and Pacific Ocean views. Serving major ‘80s synth vibes, this is a perfect tune to play as you dream about slathering on the sunscreen and breathing in the salty sea air. —Christopher Rudolph

  • Megan Thee Stallion ft. Beyoncé: “Savage (Remix)”

    Thanks to TikTok, “Savage” already felt like a song of the year even before Beyoncé got anywhere near it. But then last week, she joined up, announcing, “Queen B, want no smoke with me” at the top of the remix, and somehow made it even bigger. Thanks to Bey, Meg’s indelible staccato hook — “classy, bougie, ratchet” — has redoubled into a thunderous cry, exploding one of 2020’s biggest musical moments into something even more momentous. —Patrick Hosken

  • Chvrches: “Forever (Separate But Together)”

    Chvrches consistently sets the bar for contemporary synth-pop, and this special edition of “Forever,” a track off the Scottish group’s 2018 album Love Is Dead, is no exception. Rerecorded by each of the bandmates from their separate quarantine bunkers, “Forever (Separate But Together)” puts Chvrches’s ingenuity and infectious energy on full display. Are singer Lauren Mayberry’s bright vocals the light we need in these dark times? Discuss. —Sam Manzella

  • Del Water Gap: “Ode to a Conversation Stuck in Your Throat”

    Exploring matters of the heart isn’t new ground for Brooklyn artist Del Water Gap, who regularly maintains a playlist called Background Music for Kissing on Spotify, but he’s taking the vulnerability up a notch with his latest single. What happens when you want a lover to commit, but the words keep getting caught in your throat? Del Water Gap lets his folksy pop psyche run loose, spinning us around in a stream of consciousness as he realizes, “I don’t want anybody else touching you like I do / Like me / Is it OK?” —Carson Mlnarik