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.
Jade Bird: “Headstart”
Though she hails from England, 23-year-old Jade Bird has never sounded more at home than in Nashville. That’s where Bird recorded “Headstart,” her latest single since dropping last year’s excellent debut LP, and yet another showcase of her turbo-sized voice and knack for pep. She’s talking about love, but her refrain spells out a message to those sleeping on her talents: “Why’s it so hard? I’m giving you a head start.” —Patrick Hosken
Typhoon: “Welcome to the Endgame”
Hope is hard to come by these days, and Typhoon knows. The world-class indie rockers out of Portland, Oregon, are back with “Welcome to the Endgame,” their first new release since 2018’s Offerings. Frontman Kyle Morton’s vocals shine over delicately evocative instrumentals — and with lyrical motifs like plagues, straw men, and going “back into the streets,” it’s easy to draw parallels to the seemingly never-ending chaos of 2020. Morton concludes with a promise: “Summer’s gone, had a good one / Now the season of the witch hunt / Here we go into the cauldron / I'll see you on the other side.” —Sam Manzella
24kGoldn, Justin Bieber, J Balvin, Iann Dior: “Mood” (Remix)
The sweet guitar-strumming courtesy of songwriting prodigy Omer Fedi is the base for 24kGoldn and Iann Dior's moody smash. This slick remix veers further into pop with the addition of quippy verses from industry titans Justin Bieber and J Balvin. "The song's come a long way," Goldn told Billboard in October. "But this journey is definitely not over." —Coco Romack
Carmen DeLeon: “Juegas”
Venezuelan artist Carmen DeLeon spends a lot of her stylish new video for “Juegas” on the (leather, likely expensive) couch, something 2020 has made us all do a little too much of. But even as she unspools “Juegas” in the throes of luxury seating and over a sluggish beat — with a little help from Colombian singer Feid — she’ll capture your attention. —Patrick Hosken
Katya ft. Alaska Thunderfuck: “Come in Brazil”
In the year where I didn’t think there could be any more surprises, RuPaul’s Drag Race star Katya Zamolodchikova decides to release her first-ever single. “Come in Brazil,” which features fellow drag superstar Alaska Thunderfuck, is a satirical love letter to fans in Brazil inspired by their incessant pleas for drag queens to perform in their country. Katya’s layered, airy chorus (performed entirely in Portuguese) balances Alaska’s classic rasp and spitfire verses effortlessly, creating an unusual, yet cohesive soundscape. The heavy bass and electro-pop feel, along with the occasional beat drop, ensures that “Come in Brazil” will be heard at every gay bar from New York to L.A. —Sarina Bhutani
Joseph Signa: “My Tennessee Mountain Home” (Dolly Parton cover)
In the age of streaming, TikTok, and attuned algorithms, it’s a lot harder for up-and-coming artists to creep up on me the way that they used to. I wasn’t seeking out new music when I stumbled upon Joseph Signa while doomscrolling through Instagram, but I’m so glad I did. His flamboyant, Auto-Tuned take on ABBA’s “When I Kissed the Teacher” is a treat – especially for anyone who’s secretly thirsted over Mr. Schue – and his emo cover of Gwen Stefani’s severely underrated track “Cool” is another personal favorite. But it’s his most recent spin on Dolly Parton that had me sold. With perfectly curated outfits and visuals, Parton’s “My Tennessee Mountain Home” gets an electronic folk-pop twist, and it’s just as infectious as you’d imagine. As his quirky green-screen effects suggest, perhaps countryside solitude is less of a state than a state of mind. Regardless, Signa is more than worth the follow. —Carson Mlnarik
Anohni: “I Will Survive” (Gloria Gaynor cover)
The British-born, New York-based artist Anohni has often transformed stadium pop hits into somber, piano-led ballads. With Antony and the Johnsons, she reimagined Beyoncé's "Crazy in Love" with brass and ivory and brought Bob Dylan's "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" to a slow boil. Bookended by tearful violins and the singer's own beguiling, rumbling moans, Gloria Gaynor's classic empowerment anthem is almost bereft, a rage-filled lament — for a climate at the brink of decimation, for "all endangered Black trans lives." —Coco Romack
Ariana Grande: “Shut Up”
In keeping with tradition, Ariana opens the story of her sixth studio album with an ethereal subdued masterpiece. “Shut Up,” with its gorgeous orchestral windfall, sonically sets the mood and tone for the remaining 13 tracks. Grande vibrates at a higher level with "a circle so lit," spending no time worrying about the haters, an attitude we should all adopt. The dulcet “you know you sound so dumb (so dumb)” has been stuck in my head since release, and I've even sung it aloud to the recent frivolous presidential press conferences. The track is a protection of good energy, telling everything and everyone that isn’t doing you any good to “maybe just shut up.” —Daniel Head
Dua Lipa and Angèle: "Fever"
In this intercontinental collaboration, British-Albanian pop diva Dua Lipa teams up with Belgian singer-songwriter Angèle for their new single, “Fever.” The song encompasses all we love Dua for: nostalgic, synth-pop, dance-club vibes, but this time with a twist. Similar to Angèle’s past work, especially on her 2018 hit “Tout Oublier,” “Fever” has a more mellow, less aggressive pop sound that is constantly palatable and sonically gorgeous. The lyrics transition effortlessly from English to French and back again, creating a piece of art that can literally transcend borders. The point of music is to connect people. “Fever” does just that. —Sarina Bhutani
Friends of Clay: “Livin Time”
With the world locked down, songwriter Clay Priskorn got to work creating Claymation visuals for the folky, autumnal pop-rock he releases under the moniker Friends of Clay. His latest, “Livin Time,” is as psychedelic as stop-motion trips can get, a druggy Las Vegas trek that would make Hunter S. Thompson proud. —Patrick Hosken