Bop Shop: Songs From Laura Mvula, Orville Peck, Migos, And More

Sunny nostalgia, cross-national collabs, and a cover of 'Born This Way' that is not to be missed

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.

Maharani: “Tere Bina”

London-based singer-songwriter Maharani released her EP AnBae late last year, and I've had it in rotation ever since. Influenced by R&B artists like Tinashe, Tank, and Jhené Aiko, her sound is transportive, a musical cauldron blending Hindi, Dutch, Tamil, and English, often layered over a simple synth beat. Her latest release, "Tere Bina" ("Without You” in English) simultaneously puts me at ease and makes me want to be in love. Produced by fellow Londoner Itsyaboikay, the two are charting their own lane in R&B, and I am buckling in for the ride. —Virginia Lowman

Orville Peck: “Born This Way (The Country Road Version)”

Like any good gay person, I knew Lady Gaga teasing the title of the cover “Born This Way (The Country Road Version)” was code for an Orville Peck collab. My musical gaydar was correct, and Little Monsters, I’m happy to inform you that the masked singer was rightfully entrusted with the anthemic song. Peck’s rendition of “Born This Way” is a campy delight, infused with the twangy strings and soulful croon that put the queer country singer on the map. Yee-freaking-haw! —Sam Manzella

Tinashe ft. Buddy: “Pasadena”

What’s the world’s first post-quarantine summer without a fire playlist to vibe out to? Tinashe is giving us just that with her single and visual for “Pasadena.” The pop dazzler is serving up her airy, soprano vocals over a hot beat in her newly released single. The visual brings us some much-needed California sunshine and carefree vibes, and like Tinashe sings, “Now more than ever, life is all what you make it.” Let’s make the warm season count! —Taura Kimble

Ivy Mono: “Stars Are Blind” (Paris Hilton cover)

Paris Hilton’s mythic debut single “Stars Are Blind” celebrated its fifteenth anniversary this month, making it ripe for the picking for an indie electro-pop soft-boi cover. And I use that term endearingly because Ivy Mono has found a way to curate an entirely different sun-drenched vibe with his synth-driven take on the 2006 single. While the original is top-down on the highway, making out on the beach, and the smell of sunscreen, Ivy Mono’s cover feels like iced coffee in the summer, yearning from across the bar, and yes, making out on the beach, too. —Carson Mlnarik

Pom Pom Squad: “Crying”

Everything weeps on “Crying.” Singer-songwriter Mia Berrin howls, the creeping strings wail like coyotes in the night, and the layers of guitar crunch add a visceral sonic weight to the entire affair. It’s (sadly) not a Roy Orbison cover, but it lives in the same melancholy universe, along with the rest of Death of a Cheerleader, Berrin’s goth-fuzz new album from project Pom Pom Squad, out June 25. —Patrick Hosken

Blanks: “What You Do to Me”

No one is giving more full-hearted tributes to '80s new-wave pop right now than 24-year-old Simon de Wit, better known as Blanks. “What You Do to Me” is a brisk, breezy rush of synth where he finally confesses his heartfelt feelings. But naturally, the fear of falling in love has him overthinking. “I need you now to get me outta my head,” he reveals. “'Cause baby, when we touch, it’s like the whole world stops.” —Terron Moore

Migos ft. Justin Bieber: “What You See”

Justin Bieber’s lately made himself a hook machine, and on “What You See,” he lets his floating falsetto soar over a gentle beat infused with acoustic guitar. It provides the perfect backdrop for Migos to unpack questions about real love: “How many times that you got mad or told me you done with me?”; “If I was down to my last dime, would you slide, go Bonnie and Clyde?”; and most importantly, “What you want from me?” —Patrick Hosken

Laura Mvula: “Got Me”

Summer is here, we have our vax (you have your vax, right?!), and it’s time to bask in a season of good vibes and fierce music. Laura Mvula’s synth sensation “Got Me” is serving the perfect bop for sitting in the sun, by the beach, or in a park. Like an '80s pop track with a 2021 twist, it’s a nostalgic smorgasbord of serotonin that puts a spring in your step. “In my adult years I had forgotten how important dance was to me as a vital tool of my creative expression,” Mvula told NME. “I brought it back, just for me, so I could find my delight in dance again. And now I can’t stop dancing. I can’t wait to play this album live.” —Zach O’Connor

Nao ft. Lianne La Havas: “Woman”

For the record: You can't go wrong with Nao or Lianne La Havas, so their team-up for the feminist anthem "Woman" was bound to be a sure-fire winner. This track got me through a summer alone indoors last year, and although outside is open now, the song has such good energy that it's become a kind of mantra for me. "If God is woman / On Sunday Imma worship us," the hook announces. And as far as I'm concerned, every day is Sunday, and everyone should act accordingly. —Virgnia Lowman

Nnamdï: "Lonely Weekend" (Kacey Musgraves cover)

To say Nnamdï has covered Kacey Musgraves's gorgeously melancholy "Lonely Weekend" is to do the multitalented Chicago artist's version a disservice. Instead, it's a complete overhaul, a work of disassembly and reassembly in real time across three minutes. I've listened to it about six times now, and every time I've known it was a cover of a song I know quite well, but there's always a point where I get completely lost in how he's reimagined it. What a complete thrill. Find Nnamdï's freak-folk take on "Lonely Weekend" on record label Secretly Canadian's latest SC25 Singles collection. —Patrick Hosken

Armaan Malik, Eric Nam with KSHMR: “Echo”

In an epic cross-national collaboration, Bollywood's Armaan Malik, Seoul-based K-pop artist Eric Nam, and Indian-American producer KSHMR join forces on the EDM-tinged “Echo.” Though the song is an excellent crying-on-the-dance-floor bop, it stands for something much larger: transcending borders to smash the boundaries between genres and celebrate the richness of Asian experiences, on the heels of AAPI Heritage Month. Leveraging their unique talents and notoriety in their respective industries, Malik, Nam, and KSHMR have crafted a pan-Asian collaboration the likes of which EDM, K-pop, and I-pop have never seen, gesturing toward global solidarity and unity. —Sarina Bhutani

Peach Tree Rascals: “Oh Honey! (I Love You)”

Peach Tree Rascals’ latest EP Camp Nowhere couldn’t be more appropriately titled. Its nostalgia-flecked sound evokes the days of summers past, while providing the perfect soundtrack for sunny new moments. “Oh Honey! (I Love You)” is the band's most earnest single yet. Their goofy humor shines through in its cinematic visual, which stars singer Joseph Barros and his real-life girlfriend in a park picnic before panning to Isaac Pech, Dom Pizano, and Tarrek Abdel-Khaliq in full marching band attire. No matter how long the high temperatures last, the season will come to an end, but the soothing track reminds us it’s OK. Perhaps the most important memories are the ones we don’t know we’re making. —Carson Mlnarik

Jessie J: “I Want Love”

The post-pandemic dance-track boom is real, and it’s rarely sounded as massive as on Jessie J’s return single “I Want Love.” The pianos and strings are high in the mix, the four is on the floor, and Jessie’s voice is a clarion call commanding everyone back to the dance floor. Spoiler alert: Yes, there’s a key change. It’s all about the drama. —Patrick Hosken

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