Bop Shop: Songs From Jay Park, The Aces, Indigo De Souza, And More

Boutique beats, R&B explorations, stinging solitude, and more

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.

Jay Park: “Yesterday”

As his first comeback (of hopefully many to come) in 2023, Korean-American megastar Jay Park shows the world his vulnerable side with “Yesterday,” a soft and subtle love song that hits you right in the heart. Following last year’s “Need to Know,” the acoustic track features fully English lyrics and represents the hip-hop mogul’s new global direction. The single, which scales back its production to just a guitar-led melody, leans fully into R&B and allows for the rapper’s tender, idol-like vocals to take center stage. Accompanied by a stripped-down music video, co-starring actress Lee Yoo-Mi of Squid Game, “Yesterday” features a simplified version of the often larger-than-life Park, dressed in nothing but jeans and a white tee in an effort to show the world his truest, purest self. I can’t wait to see where this new era takes him. —Sarina Bhutani

Indigo De Souza: “Younger & Dumber”

Indigo De Souza’s latest single fully encapsulates the emotion of when you’ve cultivated a space with another and it no longer feels like home. The sting of her solitude manifests in her words, yet her instrumentation only adds to the ache. My sore heart softens with the sorrow felt from the pedal steel while each drum beat increases in intensity and further opens the gaping wound. The song’s visuals are incredibly compelling; she elevates her story with archival footage of her childhood and contrasts it with her current self, draped in surreal, ruched garments thrashing in the pouring rain: “Sometimes I just don’t wanna be alone / And it’s not ‘cause I’m lonely / It’s just ‘cause I get so tired of filling the space all around me.” —Gwyn Cutler

Crooked Teeth ft. Cami Petyn: “Loser”

Get in losers, we’re bopping to new Crooked Teeth. The California rock trio recently teamed up with rising alt-pop artist Cami Petyn for “Loser,” a catchy social commentary about the ills of conformity in the digital era. Vocalist and band founder Tyson Evans says of the track’s conception: “Cami walked into our session and we immediately began commiserating about how exhausting social media is and how there feels like this constant pressure to perform…that can often start to feel disingenuous.” What resulted is a defiant, hard-hitting pop-punk anthem with a soaring sing-along chorus sure to speak to every misfit, outcast, and introvert trying to navigate “the age of a cultural decline” with self-awareness and authenticity. —Farah Zermane

Young Fathers: “Drum”

What surprised me most about this stirring romp from Young Fathers, apart from the abrupt opening shout that scared the hell out of me, is how it’s remained in my head since its release. “Hear the beat of the drums and go numb / Have fun, go on / We don't need all the ones to have one / So have one, someone,” repeats the liberating chorus. Massaqoui’s lyrics then switch from fast raps parading his Black pride to Yoruba chants about his sense of belonging. The unique and infectious energy encapsulated in this banger can only be concocted by this hybrid band who offers their individual elements of their Liberian and Scottish cultures to kindly share with the music world. All of these factors make “Drum” a star track from their new album Heavy Heavy. —Gwyn Cutler

The Aces: “Always Get This Way”

“If you could find it in your heart not to tear me apart,” The Aces’s Cristal Ramirez sings on the great indie pop quartet’s effervescent new single. But she’s really pleading — the ache in her voice contrasted with a slick, boutique beat and slightly processed sounds. That’s what makes the promise of the group’s third album, I've Loved You For So Long, out June 2, so inspiring. Cristal, her sister Alisa on drums, McKenna Petty on bass, and Katie Henderson on guitar have never sounded more ready to dive the hell in. —Patrick Hosken

Chlothegod: “Camille”

Considering how highly Chlothegod speaks of her title-track queen, we could assume that this “Camille” was her Valentine this year. However, after digging through the artist’s TikTok, she has  revealed that the two are no longer in a relationship. “If I love you I meant for life,” states the sapphic singer, showing she’s got a big enough heart to embrace disagreement and absolve their incompatibility with an amicable end. Still, the song inspires infatuation with its poetic lyrics and sultry sound. —Gwyn Cutler

Tommy Lehman, Nathan-Paul, SmokeFace, Floco Torres: “Wish You Well (Remix)”

The fact that all four of these folks who contributed to this freeform track aren’t household names yet leaves me incredulous. Each of their isolated talents aids in the creation of this top-quality song. It’s fresh off Floco’s latest album Why Aren’t You Famous Yet? Pt. 4, and its title raises the real question: why isn’t this man famous yet? He’s been releasing hits since 2008! For “Wish You Well (Remix),” producer SmokeFace takes us on a jazzy funk-filled journey, mixing the stalwart verses of Floco Torres with the stimulating stylings of Tommy Lehman on the trumpets and Nathan-Paul on the saxophone. It all culminates into a fly tune for an ideal commute. —Gwyn Cutler

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