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Bop Shop: Songs From The 1975, Taylor Swift, Rina Sawayama, And More

Including one bittersweet track fit for 'August'

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.

The 1975: “Happiness”

In 2018, Matty Healy told me he and fellow The 1975 member George Daniel write songs with a simple metric in mind: It has to make them want to either dance or cry. “Happiness,” their band’s latest single ahead of new album, Being Funny in a Foreign Language, may constitute the middle of that particular Venn diagram. It’s wiggly as hell in that late-’80s, early-’90s way that they love to play around in, but it also sounds beaten down and weary. Healy himself sings in a wizened tone, older than he’s ever been and considering that fact. Naturally, I adore it. The saxophones in particular sound lovely. It also sounds worlds apart from their initial single “Part of the Band.” This leads me to conclude that “Happiness,” just like happiness, can make you both dance and cry. What a band. —Patrick Hosken

Taylor Swift: “August”

Taylor Swift’s claim over the eighth month of the year cannot go without recognition. Although it’s been two years since the surprise release of Folklore, every time the end of summer rolls around, fans stream the painstaking bop “August” and relive memories of a love triangle that only the singer herself could have written to feel so familiar, even if you haven’t lived it. The song tells the story of the other woman with such vivid and heartfelt details you might even take her side. There’s nothing like a Taylor Swift bridge, and this song is no exception. “Back when we were still changing for the better / Wanting was enough / For me, it was enough / To live for the hope of it all / Cancel plans just in case you’d call and say, ‘Meet me behind the mall’ / So much for summer love and saying ‘us’ / ‘Cause you weren’t mine to lose.” We will always have August. —Alissa Godwin

Take Van: “How’d You Go Out Like That”

Take Van is tired of the petty judgment and is focused on freedom and fun. This track is perfect backlash to haters who badmouth those expressing their individuality, specifically through their appearance. It's an endorsement to ignore the dirty looks, enjoy the moment, and vogue in your most eccentric outfit. So when Take Van asks, “How’d You Go Out Like That?,” say “With pride!” —Gwyn Cutler

AJR: “I Won’t”

New York-based AJR are back with another catchy bop that doubles as an extremely relatable social commentary. On “I Won’t,” the alt-pop trio (and real-life brothers) employ their trademark larger-than-life sound as they defiantly reject authority and conformity. “Acapulco, Tel Aviv, and maybe Japan / And pretty people yell at me to follow the dance / So I do what you tell me to and do it to death / But I can’t do this shit again,” vocalist Jack Met sings over a bright piano melody. The track speaks to anyone who is fed up with the pressure that our social media-obsessed society imposes on us to keep up with the latest trends. — Farah Zermane

Whitney: “Blue”

Ahead of their new pop-forward LP, Spark, Chicago duo Whitney have released two singles that point toward their exciting future and one that celebrates their past. I count “Blue” as the latter, a vintage Julien Ehrlich falsetto vocal performance that dances free as the wind. Their folk and soft-rock roots have evolved into more glossy terrain as they’ve matured, but Ehrlich and Max Kakacek have rarely sounded better and breezier than on the unbeatable “Blue.” Calling it windows-down car music would be cliché as hell, but buddy, I lived it. —Patrick Hosken

Harry Styles: “Boyfriends”

If you’ve been to a Harry Styles concert recently or seen the many videos on TikTok, you know the singer is notorious for helping his audience put their boyfriends on blast from the stage. Fittingly enough, there’s a song for this on his latest album, Harry’s House. Although it’s a slow one, this song deserves bop status as its soothing melody and soft notes feel almost like a lullaby — one where an international mega pop star sweetly sings you to sleep with the notion of not letting your boyfriend mistreat you. (How sweet! Thanks Harry.) Through his serenade, Styles urges listeners to take a reflective look at their relationships and realize they deserve better with lyrics like, “Boyfriends, they think you’re so easy / They take you for granted” and “You love a fool who knows just how to get under your skin / You still open the door.” If Harry Styles tells you to dump ‘em, then do it. —Alissa Godwin

Rina Sawayama: “Hold The Girl”

Rina pours herself into this heart-wrenching yet healing ballad about never giving up on yourself no matter how many times you’ve let yourself down. Forgiveness for breaking self-promises and evading self-reflection is a tough pill to swallow. However, it’s not nearly as detrimental as relentlessly neglecting and punishing yourself for your mistakes. Rina clutches onto her inner child for dear life, refusing to lose her or let her go, yet giving her the space to grow. By accepting her past, she can embrace the future without leaving her old self behind. “They'll tell you to sit up, and shut up, and grow up / What the hell do they know? / 'Cause the girl in your soul's singing on / And you owe her the world.” —Gwyn Cutler

Paco Versailles: “Soy Gitano”

Capital Cities singer Ryan Merchant and guitarist Vahagni — also known as the duo Paco Versailles — are back with their latest single, “Soy Gitano.” Lather on the sunscreen because this track is the perfect addition to your latest poolside playlist. The song is a smooth flamenco-inspired fantasy, one that will have you dancing in the deep end, lost in your own personal disco daydream. —Chris Rudolph

Rod Wave: “Stone Rolling”

Poignant and contemplative without dipping into melodrama, this road-weary ballad from Rod Wave could’ve been a lost gem of Southern hip-hop’s classic era. As he spins a yarn about his dreams coming true (and what that costs), a twinkling instrumental gives his words added weight — and a reason to keep replaying the song. —Patrick Hosken