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Bop Shop: Songs From Vagabon, Miley Cyrus, Monsta X, And More

A resurfaced indie gem, an electrifying vocal team-up, and plenty of fever-inducing dance tracks

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.

Vagabon: “Carpenter”

Of all the superlative aspects of “Carpenter,” Vagabon’s first new original song since 2019, its most striking is how perfectly its earthy instrumentals match Lætitia Tamko’s floating vocals. “I wasn’t ready,” she sings throughout, “but I’m all ready now.” The music matches the epiphany sung about, thanks in part to entrancing production assistance from Rostam. But as Tamko has proven since her incredible 2017 debut, all she really needs is a little space to show off what she’s capable of. For “Carpenter,” three minutes does the trick. —Patrick Hosken

Miley Cyrus: “Flowers”

Miley Cyrus is happily dancing her way through her newest single, “Flowers,” and doing so all on her own. The first glimpse of her eighth studio album, Endless Summer Vacation, dropped with a sultry yet retro-sounding pop melody and lyrics detailing the healing, perseverance, and independence after a famed relationship that fell apart. The track blends a perfect mix of smooth crooning intertwined with the grunge and rasp of Cyrus’s voice that sets her apart. She even gracefully transitions into emotionally belting the final chorus, which is the power we all know and love in a Miley Cyrus ballad. The premise of the song will empower, especially with catchy lyrics like, “I can buy myself flowers / Write my name in the sand / Talk to myself for hours / Say things you don’t understand / I can take myself dancing / And I can hold my own hand / Yeah I can love me better than you can.” If this is just the start of a new era of Miley, we are in for a treat. —Alissa Godwin

Monsta X: “Beautiful Liar”

Monsta X start 2023 off right with Beautiful Liar,” their first full-group comeback in nearly a year. The lead single off their new mini-album, Reason, the dark and dangerous track layers a seductive, almost pulsating melody that combines elements of electronica and, surprisingly, ‘80s rock, creating a song that somehow works both in a nightclub and an arena. Accompanied by a dramatic, alluring music video, featuring the members in various shades of red, black, and white, “Beautiful Liar” is another example of Monsta X playing to their strengths and doing what they do best. —Sarina Bhutani

SG Lewis ft. Charlotte Day Wilson & Channel Tres: “Fever Dreamer”

SG Lewis has assembled a contemporary trio to inspire some entrancing techno-funk. Charlotte Day Wilson ushers us through the first half, her words a soft embrace switching to undulating ripples in your eardrums. Though once Channel Tres’s part kicks in, the hype enters the body. His velvety verses are vogue-worthy — straightforward superiority to incite iconic behavior. The elements meld together with Lewis’s seamless production, creating a dance fever that you can’t break until the beat stops. —Gwyn Cutler

Tennis: “Let’s Make a Mistake Tonight”

New Tennis music is always cause for celebration, but even more so when their latest offering sounds like a bonus cut from the Drive soundtrack. The Denver duo's new single "Let's Make a Mistake Tonight" dials up the dance sounds from their previous album, Swimmer, for a track that makes you feel like you're flying down a chillwave neon highway at midnight. Make no mistake: "Let's Make a Mistake Tonight" is a serve (tennis pun intended). —Chris Rudolph

Babyfang: “Goan Go”

Brooklyn’s Babyfang label themselves “doomsday punk,” and indeed there is darkness to marvel at in the crunch of members Théo Mode, Canteen Killa, and 13th Law. But “Goan Go” also soars, especially in its liberating opening declaration: “I don’t really know what to say about it / Other than it’s hard as fuck, bro.” Surrender to the chaos, as Babyfang do, and you might find liberation as well. —Patrick Hosken

Taeyang ft. Jimin of BTS: “Vibe”

What’s better than one boy-band vocalist? Two! In one of the most epic collaborations South Korea has ever seen, BTS’s Jimin joins BigBang’s Taeyang on “Vibe,” a sexy, nostalgic, pop-R&B hybrid made to be blared. As his first single since being discharged from the military (and since his move over to The Black Label), Taeyang is reintroduced to the world as his best, most confident self. Jimin’s honeyed, yet powerful vocals work perfectly in sync with the BigBang singer’s, and they match each other beat for beat in both star power and aura, as can be seen in their dazzling new music video. “Vibe” serves as a cross-generation collaboration between K-pop’s second and third iterations, marking both a symbol of unification between the artists and a sort of passing-of-the-torch from one international superstar to another.  From my blurb to God’s ears, may more K-pop artists begin to pass each other’s vibe checks (I’m sorry, I had to) and give the world more electrifying, multi-company collaborations. It’s truly what we all deserve. —Sarina Bhutani

Debby Friday: “So Hard To Tell”

If you’ve ever deep-dived into Debby Friday’s discography, you’ll know she slammed this single into left field, but man is it a hit! This edgy extraordinaire has taken a dip into the darkside via falsetto pop. Her fans may be shocked, but this experimentation with more rhythmic structuring will likely expand her audience. The sound may differ, but these lyrics are just as stark and emotive as previous releases. Friday continues to maintain her status as a musical anomaly by staying true to her deviant style no matter what method she expresses herself in. —Gwyn Cutler

SuperKnova: “Hyperdome”

Queer pop’s SuperKnova has delivered a dissociative, drugged-up daydream, and we’re all dying for it! The Korean-American trans artist is feeling free, not just in her identity but in her acceptance of the eventual armageddon: “Everyone, yeah, we’re all gonna die. Might as well get high.” Never has it felt so heavenly to surrender. Besides the hint of despair felt in the strings that has me clutching my heart, there is solely peace in ascension. Here, SuperKnova is exercising the celestial meaning of her name, taking us to heights beyond the vast unknown and exploding our senses. —Gwyn Cutler

Neutral Milk Hotel: “Little Birds”

Indie legend posits that Neutral Milk Hotel’s Jeff Mangum wrote a masterpiece concept album about Anne Frank then disappeared forever. The truth, as ever, is less mysterious — 1998’s fuzz-folk opus In the Aeroplane Over the Sea was only partly inspired by Frank’s diary, and the band did go on hiatus after releasing it, but they’ve since reunited and subsequently split again (not to mention Mangum’s many, many solo appearances). The legend always sounds better, though with a new box set collection out soon on their label, Merge, you won’t need to succumb to hyperbole. These songs are the real deal, and even the so-called B-sides stand the test of time. Case in point: “Little Birds,” a haunting reverie Mangum apparently wrote after a confrontation with a homophobic street preacher in his home of Athens, Georgia. The minor chords linger like ghosts, and Mangum’s high, reedy voice is every bit as wraithlike as the folk tale of his career would suggest. The Collected Works of Neutral Milk Hotel is out February 24. —Patrick Hosken

Earthsignchels: “Dear Pinocchio,”

True to the tale of white lies from a wooden boy, this woeful tune tells of how breaches of honesty result in heartbreak. It’s a harsh lesson we know all too well, so what makes this song stand out? Earthsignchels is the answer: Her talent, though relatively undiscovered, is thoroughly underrated. The way Chels alternates between speak-singing and belting her lyrics to the sway of her soothing instrumentation elicits so much of the emotion she reveals. Even her pronunciations and ad-libs are unique and profound. It’s all enough to hold myself tighter next time I take a sad shower. —Gwyn Cutler

Stolen Jars: “Adeline”

Brooklyn’s Stolen Jars remain mesmerizing on “Adeline,” a soulful slice of indie pop that hinges on vocalist Sarah Coffey’s ruminations. She sounds lighter than a cloud, buoyed by effervescent instrumentals from band pillar Cody Fitzgerald. Together, the effect is intoxicating — a ray of sunshine peeking through a room with boarded-up windows. —Patrick Hosken

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