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Bop Shop: Songs From Elton John And Britney Spears, Key, And More

Brit's six-year hiatus is over! Celebrate her comeback collab with the Rocket Man himself

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.

Key: “Gasoline”

SHINee’s Key takes fans on an intergalactic adventure with “Gasoline,” his high-energy, electro-trap new single. As the title track of his sophomore EP, Key makes his comeback with a firm sense of confidence and determination, pushing his boundaries as both a sonic and visual artist. The production is as loud and boisterous as it is elegant, layering the electric sounds of 808s with the K-pop icon’s signature velvety vocals to create an auditory experience that you can feel in your chest. The track is accompanied by a highly stylized and choreography-heavy music video, giving Key space to express himself physically. Presenting audiences with numerous sets and silhouettes, Key shows the world a new side of himself. As an idol who recently celebrated 14 years in the industry, Key has comebacks that feel well-rounded and secure. However, the scope in which he presents his worldview widens each time he returns, as he constantly pushes the bounds of his creativity to present his listeners with something unique, yet still completely him. Key is an artist who refuses complacency, and that clearly shows on “Gasoline.” —Sarina Bhutani

Jharrel Jerome: “Someone I’m Not”

Jharrel Jerome knows you’re more familiar with him from star-making appearances in Moonlight and When They See Us than from anything related to music. He addresses it directly in his nocturnal, pensive, R&B-flavored new single, “Someone I’m Not.” “A couple more movies and I'll start acting bougie, like, ‘Sorry, I missed your call, dawg,’” he delivers in a tone that presents as laid-back but is actually churning with self-analysis. “The day I hit you back is the day that I fall off.” It’s a refreshingly vulnerable statement from a rising artist whose talents keep revealing themselves. Wonder which one he’ll unveil next. —Patrick Hosken

Dawn Richard, Spencer Zahn: “Vantablack”

This collaboration between musical powerhouses Dawn Richard and Spencer Zahn creates a mesmerizing and ethereal soundscape. Richard’s harmonious vocalizations and Zahn’s emotional instrumentation entwine into an entrancing flow, followed by visuals showcasing self-expressive movement. Their full album, Pigments, is out October 21, and here’s why you should stay patient: The collection is described as “an immersive passage through the city as seen through the eyes of a young Black girl with dreams to paint her future with the pigments given to her.” Join me in awaiting their joint debut! —Gwyn Cutler

Elton John, Britney Spears: “Hold Me Closer”

This is Britney Spears’s first new record and collaboration since she gained freedom from her conservatorship less than a year ago, and what’s better than a new pop-EDM track, especially one with Sir Elton John, right before the summer ends? “I saw you dancin' out the ocean,” the two icons sing in the first verse. “Runnin' fast along the sand / A spirit born of earth and water / Fire flyin' from your hands.” Combining elements from a few of the Rocket Man’s classic hits and the pop princess’s soprano vocals, the song is truly a spiritual successor to “Tiny Dancer” and “The One,” bringing different generations to hold each other closer. —Athena Serrano

Wild Pink ft. Julien Baker: “Hold My Hand”

Earlier this year, my wife went down an unexpected and scary path while giving birth to our daughter. As she was being sedated, one of the medical professionals held her hand to offer some comfort before I could join her in the operating room. Wild Pink’s John Ross experienced a similar act of kindness right before he underwent a cancer operation. He wrote a gorgeous song called “Hold My Hand” about it. When I listen, I give thanks that my wife, our daughter, and John are all OK — but also that ordinary people care enough to offer tiny gestures of love. They’re often the most meaningful ones in the world. —Patrick Hosken

The Wonder Years: “Old Friends Like Lost Teeth”

Historically, dreams about losing teeth have made for great song topics. On the latest from veteran pop-punkers The Wonder Years, though, the subconscious isn’t necessarily getting at anxiety with those visions, but loss. Specifically, it’s the loss of friends and the loneliness that even seeing them again in dreams can’t shake. “I know all the people in my dreams are just me,” vocalist Dan Campbell sings. “They’re all telling me what I know already.” —Patrick Hosken

PinkPantheress, Sam Gellaitry: “Picture in My Mind”

Sometimes twin flames burn each other out rather than bond to stay ablaze. PinkPantheress portrays this phenomenon with her latest hit with DJ Sam Gellaitry, “Picture in My Mind.” Despite her definitive, delicate voice, she candidly declares she’s done with a relationship solely based on similarities. It simply does not fit the idealization she dreamed up, and she deserves what she desires. Thus, a cordial split must commence. All aboard the friendship! —Gwyn Cutler

Thus Love: “Family Man”

Post-punk from Vermont? Believe it — Thus Love is here, and Thus Love sounds like a party. That’s because “Family Man” soars on a new wave breeze, glittering the ground beneath you and transforming it into a lit-up pastel dance-floor. Their debut LP, Memorial, is out October 7. —Patrick Hosken

Sherwyn ft. Amber Mark: “Goddess Reign”

Have you snagged a dame as gracious and benign as a deity? Sherwyn gets it. The divine feminine is watching over us, ensuring that we do what we were meant to with exemplary encouragement. This can be in the form of a lover or in the form of a spiritual overseer. Whether or not Amber Mark is the goddess in the song, she certainly sings like one! “She make me feel like I can go blind and see the sun / She make me feel like this is my time to get it done / Make me feel like I could survive and I'm the one / So many to one, somehow I just won.” —Gwyn Cutler

Nightlife: “Fallback”

Expertly fusing soul music and punk, Nightlife’s sound is unapologetically unique. The independent Baltimore-based trio isn’t afraid to push the boundaries of genre and tap into influences of decades past, imbuing the music with universal appeal. “Fallback,” is the standout title track on their thoughtfully constructed sophomore EP. It mixes an insanely groovy bassline with electric guitar riffs, as well as effortlessly cool R&B vocals that describe the feeling of repeatedly falling back into an unhealthy relationship. It all makes for one of the most exciting sounds in the alternative scene right now. Nightlife are ones to watch. —Farah Zermane

Katie Gregson-MacLeod: “Complex (Demo)”

Thanks to its complex algorithm and engaged users, TikTok has the power to pluck a song out of obscurity and turn it into a gigantic hit. Though such tracks are usually accompanied by a kitschy dance move, Katie Gregson-MacLeod’s “Complex” garnered over 7 million streams on the app in record time, relying solely on her solemn performance and cutting lyrics. “Here’s my savior complex,” the self-proclaimed Phoebe Bridgers fan captioned the clip, though it’s ballooned into something entirely its own. Over simple and haunting piano production, she confronts discontent and regret in a relationship with unflinching honesty. “I’m wearing his boxers / I’m being a good wife / We won’t be together / But maybe the next life,” she sings before admitting, “It’s complex / It’s a complex / I’m a complex.” It’s rare to find a song that’s so raw that it might break, but this gem feels just like that. —Carson Mlnarik