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.
Adele: "Hold On"
“Hold On” is the 10th track on 30, an album that feels nostalgic but not recycled, fresh, and inherently Adele. When this song begins, everything goes dark. Yet as the singer’s powerful, lachrymose voice echoes the title, a beacon of light draws you back to hope, grounding you. “Let time be patient / Let pain be gracious,” she sings as a manifestation for her own struggles and her listeners’. At the bridge — “Sometimes loneliness is the only rest we get / And the emptiness actually lets us forget / Sometimes forgiveness is easiness in secret” — things come into focus with simple, profound wisdom until Adele’s trademark crescendo. Although heartbreaking, what's so hopeful about this masterful collection is that you can see the artist on the other side of her pain. She recently told Oprah how 30’s release was the closing of that chapter. While this music is intended to meet you somewhere along your journey of grief, pain, and lost love, it reminds you to “hold on / You are still strong / Love will soon come.” Adele did. Look at her now. —Daniel Head
Cazwell ft. Trace Lysette and Chanel Jolé: "Taser in My Telfar Bag"
Billed as a “trans self-defense anthem,” “Taser in My Telfar Bag” came to songwriter-producer Cazwell after hearing about a real-life incident of anti-transgender violence on the streets of Hollywood. The feisty hip-hop track opens on the unmistakable zap of a taser before segueing into verses from trans rappers Trace Lysette and Chanel Jolé. “Gimme two pink eight-eighties / One for my purse and one for the Mercedes,” Lysette demands over a thumping beat. With Transgender Day of Remembrance on the horizon, it’s a solemn, urgent reminder couched in a catchy bop. —Sam Manzella
On last year's excellent Wicked City EP, London duo Jockstrap proved themselves to be soulful and glitchy, full of surprises and beholden to clubby electronic styles that paved the way for their own experimentation. All of that shines throughout new single "50/50," a whirring carnival ride that moves with the vaporous logic of a dream. —Patrick Hosken
Sure Sure: "Peaceful in My Mind"
“Everything is fine,” the song begins over gentle guitar and tambourine, a soothing start for the first new release from indie darlings Sure Sure in over a year. But it’s really not: The breezy track is about finding your own calm in the chaos, something anyone who made it through 2020 (and 2021) can relate to. “Look, it’s raining fire outside,” the song notes, “but it’s peaceful in my mind.” Play this track on repeat enough times, and it’ll likely become the case. —Terron Moore
Moon Tooth: "Nymphaeaceae"
Moon Tooth’s multidimensional talent is on full display with their latest single “Nymphaeaceae.” The track explodes right out of the gate with a memorable guitar riff and energetic drums before lead singer John Carbone adds his distinctive vocal stylings and profound lyricism to the mix. The song, which takes its name from the scientific term for water lilies, was inspired by the plant’s ability to grow "through darkness, towards the light to bloom, pollinate and create more life." It’s a beautiful, poetic metaphor for personal growth and hope amid life’s hardships. —Farah Zermane
Rosalía ft. The Weeknd: "La Fama"
The latest pop star to sing in Spanish on a track with Rosalía is The Weeknd, and Abel's silken vocalizations end up the perfect complement both to the soft beat and his duettist's own show-stopping singing style. The video is a lot less gentle — she literally stabs him to death in a cocktail club — but it still sounds just as serene. —Patrick Hosken
Alexa Cappelli: "Whiplash"
Alexa Cappelli is a pop songwriter from Los Angeles, but on the stadium-sized refrain of her latest tune "Whiplash," she strives to be the placeless voice of a generation. Perhaps taking a cue from Olivia Rodrigo, Cappelli spends her verses mining her own confusion and saves the chorus for the sheer release of electric guitars and a big, vowel-led chant. The result is as hooky as it is cathartic. —Patrick Hosken
Taylor Swift: "Message in a Bottle (Taylor's Version) (From the Vault)"
“Blank Space” co-writers Max Martin and Shellback are credited on this From the Vault track off Red (Taylor’s Version), so my fellow Swifties and I knew it would go hard. We just didn’t know how hard. Between its springy, synth-infused sound and Tay’s clever almost-rhymes (“Time moves faster / Replaying your laughter / Disaster”), “Message in a Bottle” is saccharine pop perfection. It’s a miracle Swift was able to keep this banger bottled up for nearly a decade. —Sam Manzella
Earl Sweatshirt: "2010"
Back in 2010, Earl Sweatshirt infamously rapped about being a "hot and bothered astronaut hot / Crashing while jacking off / To buffering vids of Asher Roth." He was barely 16 then, and the intervening years have seen Earl grow into a more thoughtful and reliably exciting artist. On his latest, "2010," twinkly and pensive production from Detroit's Black Noi$e soundtracks an Earl flow that's both laidback and gripping. "Long way to go, we already came far," he raps, reminding. "Story stayed the same, it was never madе up." —Patrick Hosken