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.
Maggie Rogers: "Want Want"
There's something awesome about a weighty low end on a Maggie Rogers song. Though her 2019 debut, Heard It in a Past Life, trafficked in lighter-than-air empowerment odes, she's spent this year releasing slightly grittier-sounding music. "Want Want" follows "That's Where I Am" in the more digitized realm and adds a hefty synthetic bass to perfectly complement her floating vocal lines on the chorus. The result is an irresistible balance of sweet and sour that you will want and want again. —Patrick Hosken
Muna: "Sometimes (Britney Spears cover)"
As if Joel Kim Booster and Andrew Ahn’s smash hit Hulu rom-com Fire Island couldn't be more epic, Muna steps in on the soundtrack to give us and Britney Spears stans something perfect for our playlists. The 2022 cover of Britney’s 1999 hit “Sometimes” gives us a fierce update while maintaining the energy and vibe of the original — a track for dancing with your special someone or chosen family under the disco ball. I won’t give away any spoilers, but to get the full context, vibe, and reason why I was bawling my eyes out when this song came on in the film, you need to see it for yourself. —Zach O’Connor
Jessica Boudreaux, Adult Mom: "Cruel Summer (Taylor Swift Cover)"
Considering Taylor Swift has released four albums since 2019’s Lover, it might be easy to overlook track No. 2, “Cruel Summer” – a St. Vincent co-write that remains one of her discography’s crown jewels even though she’s never performed it live. Thankfully, Summer Cannibals’s Jessica Boudreaux and Adult Mom have given us a reason to keep it on repeat during the warm and sticky months with an indie-pop cover released just in time for Pride Month. Trading in the original’s synthy screams for something a bit more understated, the track’s underlying themes of summertime pining and manic confessions remain. With a thumping bass line and a bouncing tambourine, the catharsis is just as triumphant as the two duet on its god-tier bridge: “And I scream, ‘For whatever it’s worth / I love you, ain’t that the worst thing / You ever heard?’” —Carson Mlnarik
Armani White: "Billie Eilish"
After garnering over 5 million streams in less than two weeks, West Philadelphia rapper Armani White has released the music video for “Billie Eilish.” Despite being out for only a few weeks, the song is already making quite an impression. As the first single to be released from his forthcoming project, the track samples N.O.R.E. and The Neptunes's classic 2002 single "Nothin’," combined into a minute and thirty-nine-second vibe fest. "A few months ago, we were praying for listeners," White wrote on Instagram. "My New Year's resolution was to make this the double comma year, #LegendBound. Y'all done changed my life in 13 days." —Sunni Anderson
Rei Brown ft. Joji: "Thinking Bout You"
Good to know the Joji-feature extended universe now boasts both "Thinking Bout You" and 2018's "Think About You." Where the latter, a Ryan Hemsworth tune, relies on almost underwater minimalism to build mood, his latest, a collab with Rei Brown, is more akin to a ballad as heard from space — hence the stratospheric visualizer. The result is an aching, memorably bleary excursion into an overwhelming feeling of yearning. —Patrick Hosken
Pinkshift: "Nothing (In My Head)"
Drawing influences from ‘90s grunge and 2000s pop-punk, Pinkshift’s “Nothing (In My Head)” perfectly crystallizes the current moment. Vocalist Ashrita Kumar is a badass force of nature. Their commanding vocals articulate the mental exhaustion that so many of us are feeling right now while bandmates Paul Vallejo and Myron Houngbedji attack the track with equally boundless energy on guitar and drums, respectively. The song is “a cry for help,” the Baltimore-based trio said in a statement. “It’s about the feeling of wanting out, wanting a change in scenery, wanting to escape from feeling locked inside, claustrophobic, and overwhelmed. This song is like a hand reaching out to anyone willing to grasp onto it and say they feel the same way.” —Farah Zermane
Phoenix: "Alpha Zulu"
Perhaps the most exciting thing about a new song from Phoenix (!) — apart from it being a new song from Phoenix (!!) – is that it sounds just like a new song from Phoenix, but the kind of new song from Phoenix you'd hope to hear in 2022. Not an ounce of fat, sparkly, yet low-key menacing in its minor-key excitement, "Alpha Zulu" is here and gone like a sunshower. An oblique lyrical callback to "1901" is the rainbow at the end of the storm. —Patrick Hosken
Dounia’s music is a spiritual experience, a sonic dreamscape with the power to heal. On “Gloom,” the Moroccan-American artist displays a quiet confidence as she contemplates a melancholy mood. “I’m glammed up in my gloom,” she croons, and “I’m still tryna feel a 10 even when I’m inconsistent with my wins.” It’s my new go-to when I need to pull myself out of a rut and feel fabulous. —Farah Zermane
John Duff, Eric Kupper: "Is It a Sin (Eric Kupper Remix)"
Happy Pride Month! John Duff, in collaboration with Eric Kupper, is taking us to church as he delivers a soulful house rendition of Duff’s “Is It a Sin” off his 2021 EP Homo.Sapien. As he testifies in a spiritual black-and-white music video, giving us soulful pop, he preaches that we should all be free to love. Is it a sin? Then he’s sinning ‘til the end. “I wrote ‘Is It a Sin’ as an acknowledgement of my faith in Jesus, but also as a (rhetorical) question to the church that claims to worship his inherent propensity for understanding, forgiveness, and love,” Duff writes on Instagram. “Thank you, Jesus – for saving me. But, Miss Church girl, I have to ask; ‘If all’s forgiven, than why am I imprisoned?’” Can I get an amen?! —Zach O’Connor
Cann: "Taste So Good” (The Cann Song)"
Hi gay! Yes, this is technically a sponsored video, but it’s camp enough to be a full Pride Month bop. (Plus, we’re not getting any ad money from it.) Written by Leland and featuring vocals by Hayley Kiyoko, Vincint, MNEK, and Kesha, this song actually has me nodding in gay appreciation — mainy because the music video features queer faves Gus Kenworthy, Kornbread, Willow Pill, Kerri Colby, Patricia Arquette, Jorgeous, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and more. The collab aims to, as Weedmaps puts it in the description, “not only say ‘gay,’ but scream it from the rooftops.” Mission accomplished. —Zach O’Connor