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.
Gryffin & Carly Rae Jepsen: "OMG"
Carly Rae Jepsen is just straight-up special. Her latest, a collaboration with L.A.-based DJ Gryffin on his new track "OMG," is exactly why. Who else could deliver the chorus "Oh my God! / I think I might love you!" with such force and sincerity? No one, that's who. After gracing us with the superb album Dedicated in May, Carly graced us with another peerless summer bop just because. And that's why we don't deserve her. —Bob Marshall
Haim: "Summer Girl"
Hot Girl Summer is in full swing, but Haim Girl Summer is only getting started. The SoCal sisters returned this week with their first new music since 2017, and it's a surprisingly understated shift from their trusty guitar-driven pop/rock. "Summer Girl" is all sunny sax and "Walk on the Wild Side"-style doot-doots as Danielle calmly repeats, "I'm your summer girl." There’s a warm, lived-in familiarity to it all, but the context hits hard — Danielle has said the song was inspired by her partner's battle with cancer. Knowing that makes the bridge sound less like a wispy come-on and more like a healing promise: "Walk beside me, not behind me / Feel my unconditional love." Do as the sisters Haim do and soak in "Summer Girl" on a cool, easy walk — public stripping optional. —Madeline Roth
Kaytranada: "05 08 – NONESENSE"
Growing up, I had two game systems and a DVD player hooked up to the TV in my living room. It was a mess of auxiliary cords and power cables that, to the untrained eye, made it look like I had built some kind of groundbreaking device. But when friends would come over, I could seamlessly switch between New Jack City, Syphon Filter on PlayStation, and Dark Cloud on PlayStation 2, like some kind of entertainment magician.
I get this feeling from Kaytranada's complex Rube Goldberg beat machines, especially on the loosie "NONESENSE." Crisp bass drums, ride cymbals, handclaps, silky synths, and more come together to power a suave and swaggering tune. It immerses itself in the outskirts of soul music and feels like a buildup to something grander and funkier. But as it spins like a carousel, "NONSENSE" adds splashes of color to the groovy world that it creates and finds comfort within it. It's striking how all of its elements come together for a moment that strips you away from reality, forcing you to lose yourself in a realm of deep blue skies and purple clouds that last forever. —Trey Alston
Conan Gray: "The King"
Unrequited love is hard, especially when you know you're the best match for someone, and they just won't see it. Thankfully, "The King" by Conan Gray offers the perfect flex on being "just friends," with an addictive chorus that starts out as pop ebullience before it builds to full triumph.
Conan is confident, if not slightly calculated, stating, "You like me, well obviously," before boldly declaring he's the king. Sometimes the ones we love just need a reminder, but the 20-year-old musician is careful not to lose his cool or doubt his self-worth in the process. "I'm the only one / That has made you fall in love / So just shut up," he belts over a steady snapping rhythm and a dreamy pop beat. He refuses to be placed in a box, and you can feel the self-empowerment building as he cries out, "I'm supreme."
Perhaps Conan's right, and our heartbreak is less about missing out on someone else and more about their loss. At least that's what I'll keep telling myself as I listen to this bop on repeat. —Carson Mlnarik
Oliver Tree: "Miracle Man"
Oliver Tree is fascinating to me on many levels, and no matter what happens, when he drops a new track I'm immediately on it. But lately, I can't stop listening to "Miracle Man," an acerbic ode to, as far as I can tell, not being "enough" for someone else in a relationship, or perhaps in life. "Don't say it's what you need, I'd say it's what you wanted" is a harrowing preamble for the song's soaring, pleading chorus, and while the music tells a different story than Tree's wacky accompanying video, I can still feel the melancholy seeping out of every line. Also, this song needs to be added to Rock Band 4, STAT. —Brittany Vincent
Sabrina Claudio: "Holding the Gun"
Bonnie and Clyde-style love stories are something we've heard time and time again in pop music (see: Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s "'03 Bonnie & Clyde," Taylor Swift's "Getaway Car," G-Eazy and Halsey’s "Him & I," and about a million others). But being so dangerously in love has never sounded quite so tranquil as it does on Sabrina Claudio's "Holding the Gun." The angel-voiced R&B singer chronicles a ride-or-die relationship marked by intense, limitless loyalty, as she vows, "I will take your bullets / Even if it were you holding the gun." As you've probably guessed, that kind of obsession only spells destruction, and we get a whiff of that in the cinematic video — one minute, she and her partner are freely cruising the desert, and the next, she's dancing while covered in blood. The story never ends well, but at least the ride looked fun. —Madeline Roth
Angel Olsen: "All Mirrors"
After the powerful indie-rock twang of 2016's My Woman, singer-songwriter Angel Olsen's new single marks a pivot to an experimental, synth-laden, art-rock leaning sound akin to the legendary Kate Bush. "All Mirrors," the title track of her forthcoming fourth LP, finds Angel embracing the alien and the ethereal, emoting about what she perceives to be a litany of reflections of herself and a loss of identity. Accompanied by a haunting black-and-white music video, perhaps Olsen's new mystery will finally reveal itself in full when the album drops on October 4. —Bob Marshall
Chance The Rapper ft. Megan Thee Stallion: "Handsome"
If Chance the Rapper's The Big Day is about the beauty of marriage, then "Handsome" is one of its few steps away from the idea of togetherness, focusing on oneself, with a giant middle finger towards relationships. "Handsome" is badass and so un-Chance like, snickering and brushing its shoulders off with its "yeah, I know I'm the shit" silkiness. Chance may be singing, but he's really the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, with his arm on the wall of Bel-Air Academy, spitting some loud gum-chewing game to a blushing woman, too busy laughing to hear him asking for her number. Megan Thee Stallion comes in and hip thrusts Chance onto the floor to deliver her own swaggering verse, telling you what makes a wifey and what doesn't. It doesn't matter if the beat's a smooth ride out into the darkening post-sunset sky. Megan shifts the mood to her benefit. When it ends, you wonder if the woman on the wall picked Chance or Megan. —Trey Alston