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.
Dvsn, Ty Dolla $ign ft. Mac Miller: "I Believed It"
It feels good to hear Mac Miller again, especially when he leads off his verse on this retro-soul new Dvsn and Ty Dolla $ign team-up with "I know you like to laugh." It's only one side of the coin, though: "But that don't keep you right inside / Tell me, is it worth it?" After Circles, it's almost greedy to hope for more posthumous Mac rhymes. But when he sounds as good as he does on "I Believed It," you can't help but yearn. —Patrick Hosken
Doja Cat: “Ride”
A reggaeton-inspired track available to listen through the deluxe edition of her newest album, “Ride” finds Doja Cat expressing dismay and confusion on why her partner is aloof and unconcerned towards her. “Where is your jealousy? Why won't you cry?” she ponders. Doja feels she is only used by them as something to be played with (“Maybe I'm a toy 'til you wind me”) or as a brief fling, but she still loves her partner despite the bumpy ride in their relationship. —Athena Serrano
Twice: “Perfect World”
Returning with their second Japanese single of 2021, the girls of Twice make a bold statement with the sizzling “Perfect World.” The title track off their forthcoming album, they present a mature concept this comeback season, deviating slightly from their beloved bubblegum pop to show off their musical evolution. Accompanied by a theatrical music video, Twice continue on their journey toward world domination, breaking hearts and taking names on their way to the top. —Sarina Bhutani
From the very first note of “Healing,” it’s clear that Fletcher is trying out something new. On this intimate cut, the queer indie-pop singer trades her head-turning hooks and aggressive beats for introspective lyrics and mellower instrumentals. “I ain’t there yet, but I’m healing,” she repeats. “I ain’t there yet.” It’s a refrain, but you get the feeling it’s also a personal mantra. —Sam Manzella
Ed Sheeran: “Bad Habits”
I was a little thrown when I saw the sparkly blue eyeshadow, vampy fangs, and pink suits ablaze in the first preview of Ed Sheeran’s new single. After all, this is the same goofy singer-songwriter I saw transform a tiny concert hall into a rousing choir with just a guitar, a loop pedal, and the sweat off his back nine years ago. I should have known better than to doubt the red-haired trickster whose catalog was built from combining his Yorkshire sensibilities with sticky hooks to craft some of pop’s slickest hits. “Bad Habits” is undeniably sleek from its first notes, though it really takes off when the refrain hits. Sheeran packs on a palpable sense of desperation and seduction for dance-floor bop, a drunk confession, and the caption to the Instagram picture of your 2 a.m. deli sandwich all in one. Ed has done it again. —Carson Mlnarik
Miloe: "Solo" (Lous and the Yakuza cover)
The end of June also brings the end of Black Music Month, but Congolese Independence Day (August 15) is approaching — and Minneapolis's Miloe is celebrating both at once. The artist, whose jangly "Greenhouse" was a 2020 favorite, was born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and relocated to America at age 8; he honors both the holiday and his heritage with this bright, highly replayable cover of Belgian-Congolese artist Lous and the Yakuza's "Solo." Melt your heart by watching Miloe's lovely conversation with his mother in the music video above. —Patrick Hosken
Amorphous, MNEK, Kelly Rowland, CeCe Peniston: “Finally (Cannot Hide It)”
It’s happened to me, right in front of my face, and my feelings cannot describe it! If you thought Pride Month was over, guess again. With the help of Amorphous, MNEK, Kelly Rowland, and the OG “Finally” songstress CeCe Peniston, the iconic 1991 pop-house track gets an update fit for a summer 2021 twirl. It takes a special combination of charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent (Drag Race fans, you hear me?!) to successfully refresh an iconic track, and they certainly did it well. —Zach O’Connor
Loona: “PTT (Paint the Town)”
Loona lead their comeback with an intense single for new mini-album [&]. The song takes inspiration from Bollywood dance music and hip-hop: male vocals in the beginning, percussion from Indian tabla drums, whistling woodwinds, aggressive dubstep, and 808 bass sounds. The South Korean girl group is about to paint the town to show they’ve returned with a new mindset (“Are you ready for some action? / Our mission has just begun / No one here / Can stop us / With what I have inside”). Play this song to dance if you’re feeling energetic and confident. —Athena Serrano
Big Red Machine (ft. Anaïs Mitchell): "Latter Days"
Here's the headline news: The Taylor Swift-Aaron Dessner-Bon Iver collabs are far from over! In late August, Dessner and Justin Vernon will release another album as Big Red Machine, the sprawling, often experimental project they've been tooling around with since the 2000s. That album will feature contributions from many friends from their extended musical universe, including Fleet Foxes, Anaïs Mitchell, Naeem, This Is the Kit, and yes, Swift on two songs. The coolly haunting "Renegade" is available now. Elsewhere, we've got plenty to enjoy thanks to "Latter Days," which folds Hadestown creator and Bonny Light Horseman supernova Mitchell into a gorgeous and haunting piano reverie. "How long do you think it's gonna last?" she sings early on before being joined by Vernon's unmistakably money-making falsetto. I hope the answer is forever. —Patrick Hosken
BM: “Broken Me”
With the release of his debut solo single “Broken Me,” Kard’s BM reintroduces himself to the world in a brand new light. With an alt-rock melody, BM strikes a balance between homage and evolution, expanding upon a classic genre to create something that sounds fresh. Written in its entirety in a single day, the song’s lyrics dive deep into deeply personal emotions such as anxiety and loneliness, giving fans a rare view of the man behind the idol. Accompanied by an iconic music video, BM shows fans the true depth of his artistry. —Sarina Bhutani
Some cool things about "Eavesdropper," a roaring new six-minute cut from Austin's Alexalone (who style their name in all lowercase): motorik drumming, the use of a violin bow and a voice recorder as tools to play electric guitar, a persistent doomy rumble that ultimately gives way to euphoric release, the additional space created by a lack of vocals, an artful and stylish video shot by Brittany Reeber, how it utterly rips, how for a few seconds you're sure it's the best thing you've ever heard, and how you'll want to listen again as soon as it's done. —Patrick Hosken
Tyler, the Creator: “Corso”
Tyler, the Creator is back to creating with his new, expertly blended single Corso. With its eyebrow-raising verses and spontaneous interjections from DJ Drama, the California rapper stays true to his eclectic roots. From twinkling piano keys to dancy beats to a thudding bass, this song has it all, carving out a genre of its own. —Taura J
Matt Maltese: “Madhouse”
While we’ve learned to embrace solitude and uncertainty over the past year and a half, one track I’ve found myself coming back to when the struggle feels heavy is Matt Maltese’s “Madhouse.” Although its title threatens theatricality, the London singer-songwriter takes a chill approach to confronting the paradox of his loneliness in a world of screens and constant communication. His astute observations of “Live Laugh Love” signs and “multicolored ornaments in people’s houses” are quirky on the surface, but sung aloud, their banalities resonate. He doesn’t prescribe a remedy for life’s duller moments, casually crooning lines like “Can’t you tell me why I’m empty,” though the smooth psychedelic beat, and his running-man moves in the video, seem to suggest that grooving through the madness is the best way to go. —Carson Mlnarik
A heartbreaking love song about mourning the loss of a relationship, “Bye” centers Jaden wishing to take a drive to a beach with an ex to watch the sunset (“I know you're sick of fallin' in love / But, girl, that needs to be us / Out on the beach havin' fun / The weekend just ain't enough”). The song begins with lo-fi, dreamlike sounds, representing Jaden’s nostalgia and his dream about repairing the relationship. Although he feels sad and broken, his anger and frustration is shown in later rap verses: “Got nothing to say to you, girl, you ain't my bae / You got me test up like I'm a motherfucker on the way.” Jaden’s got overwhelming feelings through this emo rap. You’ll feel them, too. —Athena Serrano