Bop Shop: Songs From Apink, Kurt Vile, Jazmine Sullivan, 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.
After nearly two years, K-pop girl group Apink make their highly anticipated comeback with “Dilemma,” an edgy heartbreak anthem that keeps fans on their toes. As the title track off their new special album, Horn, it finds the veteran superstars exploring a darker concept. Synth and electronic sounds blend with grounded guitar and bass to create a dynamic track that takes listeners on a sonic journey. With its many peaks and valleys, perfect pop chorus, and high-energy dance break, “Dilemma” is a song made for stadiums. Accompanied by a dramatic, dance-heavy music video, “Dilemma” further proves Apink’s strength and power as a team, as the group continues to break boundaries and take their artistry to the next level with each comeback. There’s a reason why this group has made it way past K-pop’s seven-year curse, and you can see it clearly with “Dilemma.” —Sarina Bhutani
Kurt Vile: "Like Exploding Stones"
There's something positively delightful about Kurt Vile, guitar god and poet laureate of the stoner thought, filming a seven-minute music video in a roller rink, his long brown curls buoyant as ever as he barely tries to pantomime strumming. "Thoughts running round in my cranium like pinball machine-a-mania," he sings, and boy isn't that always the case. With saxophone work from Sun Ra Arkestra's James Stewart and lightly psychedelic flairs in the video, what's not to love? —Patrick Hosken
Doja Cat: “Celebrity Skin”
I’ve been on a serious ‘90s alt-rock kick after binge-watching Showtime’s Yellowjackets, so Doja Cat’s cover of this grunge classic from Hole comes at the perfect time. The “Kiss Me More” songstress channels her inner riot grrrl with raspy, rock-infused vocals, emulating lead singer Courtney Love’s drawn-out snarl on the second verse (“My name is ‘Might’ve Been’ / My name is ‘Never Was’ / My name’s forgotten”). The cover aired during a Super Bowl commercial, so Doja did make some minor tweaks to the original lyrics with Love’s blessing. It takes one “rock goddess” to recognize another. —Sam Manzella
Magnolia Park: “Kids Like Us”
Orlando-based Magnolia Park are one of the most exciting new bands in the scene. They’ve been releasing so much good music over the past year that it’s honestly hard to choose one song to talk about. That said, “Kids Like Us” is a real standout for me and a total gut punch. It’s a heartfelt display of vulnerability that sends a message of solidarity to anyone who has experienced bullying or abuse at the hands of their peers or an authority figure like the police. The track also discusses the devastating emotional distress that comes with these experiences while defiantly refusing to become “a victim of society.” “Regardless of what anyone says, you and your life matter,” the band wrote on Twitter. “You are never alone in your hardships.” —Farah Zermane
Lion Babe: “Harder” (with Busta Rhymes)
Mix an infectious uptempo snare with a little funk, a sprinkle of disco, and some lo-fi, and you've got a perfect jam — the likes of which duo Lion Babe have mastered over the years. Escapist music has been a balm during the pandemic, and this song hits just as it should. The beat drops, the hook snaps, and songstress Jillian Hervey simultaneously nods to the greats like Stevie Wonder while also championing Black women: “Looking at my Black girl tribe, no surprise / Still we rise, ancient ties realize / Always gonna push it, got my ribbon in the sky / Everybody fight us, but we shine in the night / Grind in the night, so fine in the night.” The song hasn't even ended, and I've already made plans to play it on repeat. —Virginia Lowman
Wonho: “Eye on You”
In his first release of 2022, Captain Korea, a.k.a. Wonho, is back with an earworm of a single, “Eye on You.” The self-composed track immediately takes us to Wonho’s POV with a dark and driving bassline (similar to his debut hit “Open Mind”). Its lyrics are inspired by how he feels being surrounded by the gaze of prejudice and how, if you took a closer look, you’d see him for who he really is. “Sometimes there are people who look at others with stereotypes, as if they were wearing colored glasses,” Wonho said about the track. And while “Eye on You” is about taking those colored glasses off, it’s also a track about an intoxicating love story: “I need your love, I need your touch / I got my eye on you / Engrave me deep over your body.” I mean, OK, yes? The duality of Wonho is one of the many charms I love about him and is why Wenee are constantly keeping an eye out for what he’ll do next. —Daniel Head
Jazmine Sullivan: "Roster"
A lovely and minimal cut from the recently released deluxe edition of her great 2021 album Heaux Tales, "Roster" finds Jazmine Sullivan getting vulnerable. "The world's too big to think so small," she wails over chiming acoustic guitar, "Well, I've got room to love 'em all," reassuring a few objects of her affection that there's no limit to her love. To experience it, though, "you just gotta fall in line." —Patrick Hosken
Orville Peck: “C’mon Baby, Cry”
The masked country crooner is back with a rockin’ new tune, “C’mon Baby, Cry,” the first single from his upcoming album, Bronco. With an upbeat retro vibe, you would expect to find “C’mon Baby, Cry” playing on the jukebox at your local honky tonk. The song may inspire some boot stompin’, but the lyrics reveal it as a siren song to all the fellow sad cowboys out there, with Peck offering his shoulder to cry on. So grab some tissues and slice some onions, because when Orville Peck tells you to cry, you better start shedding some tears! —Chris Rudolph
Richie Quake: “That’s Not Love!”
Richie Quake is crushing hard, but not hard enough to forget his own worth. On this synth-driven, psych rock-inspired cut, the Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter makes himself dizzy by “swervin’ [in circles]” to make a one-sided romance work. But in his heart of hearts, Quake knows he deserves more: “You only ever call me when you’re drunk / That’s not love, that’s not love!” —Sam Manzella
Duelsign: “Come on Over”
Brooklyn indie duo Duelsign find the rhythm for all-too-familiar late-night feelings of yearning on their new release “Come on Over.” The synth-driven track bounces between plea and promise with eerie calmness, rooting itself in an invitation for a lover to “Come on over / Baby, I could smoke you out.” The stakes may have never felt higher — “Taking shots and taking chances / Saving screenshots, saving dances” — but lead singer Rose Campbell’s vocals are honest and brimming with depth, making it clear this isn’t a hookup anthem. It’s an invitation for connection at a time when the world never seems to quiet down. —Carson Mlnarik
Jack Harlow: “Nail Tech”
Horns aren't what you think of when you imagine a nail salon, but they are the first sound to usher you into Jack Harlow's anthemic track, "Nail Tech," which plays like equal parts hip-hop and folklore. The song is marked by bravado-heavy lyrics that walk the line between cocky and confident: "I don't wish for my success, I speak it" and later, "Fam over Gram, that's my M.O." The Instagram captions write themselves. It's an earworm with a catchy rhyme scheme that put Jack's lyrical prowess on full display, particularly as he plays with cadence and pitch in a way that is reminiscent of early Drake. Jack is coming into into his own, further honing his own sound, and setting himself apart in the rap game, or as he puts it: "I'm not on top of this shit yet but I'm that guy though." I tend to agree. —Virginia Lowman
Silk Sonic: "Love Train" (Con Funk Shun cover)
Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak are continuing their funk/soul nostalgia project Silk Sonic by covering "Love's Train," a locomotive (yet gentle) R&B jam that originated with 1970s and '80s group Con Funk Shun. It dropped on Valentine's Day, naturally, but you can keep it on repeat as long as you need. It's just that kind of vibe. —Patrick Hosken
Chappell Roan: “Naked in Manhattan”
After taking us to WeHo’s “Pink Pony Club” back in 2020, indie pop queen Chappell Roan resurfaces on the East Coast with flirty and infectious new single “Naked in Manhattan.” A not-so-coy ode to bisexuality — “Boys suck / And girls I’ve never tried,” she teases — Roan packs in references to queer-coded staples like Mulholland Drive, Mean Girls, and astrology while laying the tension on thick. It all explodes in an addictive and clubby chorus of “touch me”s as a drunken evening with a friend takes a frisky turn. It’s a well welcomed return for a rising star who’s already demonstrated her songwriting prowess and continues to swing big. After all, “In New York, you can try things.” —Carson Mlnarik