Bop Shop: Songs From Bartees Strange, Wonho, The Beths, 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.
Bartees Strange: "Mulholland Dr."
What a long, strange trip it's been for Bartees. It actually hasn't been that long — his fiery debut LP dropped in 2020, and since then, he's toured with the likes of Phoebe Bridgers, his heroes in The National, and more. Importantly, he was always a headliner; now the bookings have caught up with his talents. That's extremely apparent on "Mulholland Dr.," a standout cut from his second album, Farm to Table, which is out today. The twinkly guitar and icy keyboard lines make it timeless, existing in a framework of indie rock not tied to any particular era (even with its brief Steely Dan detour around 2:10 in). And his emotional vocals ("I don't believe in the bullshit") make everything memorable on top. —Patrick Hosken
I’ve been following Wonho’s career for a while now. I’ve been there through the ups and downs and watched and listened to him play with different sounds and concepts. All of it. With his latest release, Facade, you can hear the culmination of his efforts and maturity as an artist. He brings all that into view with his genre-bending focus track, “Crazy.” The infectious single finds Wonho at his best, experimenting and executing flawless choreography. A driving bassline, guitar riffs, smooth vocals, and a chorus that has been stuck in my head for days — it’s definitely a bop. And while I’ve been going “Crazy” over Wonho for some time, it truly feels like we have so much more to see from him, and personally, I can’t wait. —Daniel Head
Loveless: "Middle of the Night"
Los Angeles alternative rock duo Loveless formed less than three years ago, but they’ve already managed to accumulate hundreds of thousands of followers on TikTok and Instagram resulting in millions of streams. Their much-deserved success is a prime example of the power that social media has in the music industry right now. Singer Julian Comeau has a captivating, emotive voice that he uses to effortlessly breathe new life into well-known pop songs on the band’s TikTok. On “Middle of the Night,” Loveless puts a powerful pop-punk spin on Elley Duhé’s enchanting 2020 original, a track that’s experienced a recent viral resurgence. The cover is striking, well-produced, and sure to introduce Loveless’s new fans (like myself) to some of their original music, which I’m finding to be equally impressive. —Farah Zermane
Between Friends: "Try"
Indie-pop sibling duo Between Friends put their own twist on MTV with new project Cutie, crafting a series of dreamy and nostalgic visuals that speak to their definition of “modern music television.” Amongst a sea of tranquil and daydream-hued entries is “Try,” an exceptionally sweet meditation on finding your place in another’s life and the threat of things going south. Armed with a synthesizer, filtered vocals, and a heavy bass, the two craft a tune fit for sleepless summer nights and picturesque sunsets with a simple chorus: “Tryna be the one you stay awake for / And you know that if you ask me, I would be yours.” —Carson Mlnarik
The Beths: "Silence Is Golden"
The Beths are a favorite foursome from New Zealand whose take on "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" I play every single year for maximum yuletide melancholy. The other 11 months, however, The Beths are perfect for rip-roaring, peppy and melodic avalanches of indie rock, like on new single "Silence Is Golden." The title is delivered with a straight face — over careening waves of distorted guitars and huge drums. It's enough to make you laugh, and you should! Then you should proceed to rock the hell out. Their new album, Expert in a Dying Field, is out September 16. —Patrick Hosken
Yung Gravy: "Betty (Money)"
Yung Gravy is known for his tongue-in-cheek, satirical hip-hop tracks, but he brings a new definition to Rickrolling in this absolutely classic banger, using the instrumentals of Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” and blending it with his own groovy trap beats. While he modifies the lyrics to sing about his pursuit of big bucks, he still manages to make them catchy with his smooth bass vocals: “Never gonna take an L / Never take a damn thing slow / All I know is chase this dough and get money.” —Athena Serrano
Julius Rodriguez: "Two Way Street"
Julius Rodriguez is a tornado of talent. As the 23-year-old showcases in this live, at-home take of his breakneck bebop song "Two Way Street," he'll begin on drums and move to piano in the middle of the tune. He plays guitar as well, including onstage with a collective that toured with A$AP Rocky in the past. Rodriguez, a.k.a. Orange Julius, shows this all on his debut album, Let Sound Tell All, which dropped on June 10. Throughout, he dips into noirish soul and a bit of R&B, always keeping his compass pointed toward the unexpected. —Patrick Hosken
Princess Nokia: "Diva"
Princess Nokia is back, and she’s giving flowers to the divas who have inspired her. “I feel like Beyoncé / I feel like Shakira / Lemonade, I’m juicy / Hips don’t lie, Selena / Britney, Christina, rest in peace Aaliyah,” she sings on the track’s ethereal refrain, channeling the female music trailblazers who came before her both sonically and spiritually. The influence doesn’t stop there, and she uses the single’s verses to spit some rhymes and celebrate her lineage as well: “I just learn from these women, do whatever it takes / I’m the daughter of the witches that they burned at the stake.” It’s a meditative, summer-flavored take on a self empowerment anthem, ensuring that by the end, you’ve found your own inner diva. —Carson Mlnarik
Special Interest: "(Herman's) House"
In May, the great New Orleans punk band Special Interest released a dance track called "(Herman's) House," wherein a fuzzy pulsating bassline lays the groundwork for a history lesson. The Herman in the song's title refers to Herman Wallace, a Black revolutionary and member of the Angola 3 who served 41 years in prison in solitary confinement before his eventual release. "This song bears witness to our wonder and desire to dismantle the oppressive systems that hinder our possibilities towards true liberation, to annihilate, to destroy and to rebuild with one another," band members Alli Logout and Maria Elena said in a statement. —Patrick Hosken