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.
It all started with some coffee. The 2017 tune that propelled Bea Kristi — a.k.a. Beabadoobee — into the musical spotlight has also helped sustain her; this year, Powfu sampled it for his own smash “Death Bed (Coffee for Your Head),” which hit No. 23 thanks to a TikTok boost. But while acoustic lilts sound great flowing out of Bea, her true power lies in uptempo, dreamy rockers: namely, last year’s excellent “She Plays Bass” and earthquaking new single “Care.” Conveniently, the latter also gives us one of the best shout-along choruses of the year: “Stop saying you give a shit / ‘Cause you don’t really care.” —Patrick Hosken
Jacob Collier ft. Rapsody: “He Won’t Hold You”
It might seem counterintuitive to describe a song about loneliness as an all-encompassing hug, but singer and multi-instrumentalist Jacob Collier’s sweeping sound has never been easy to categorize. He uses a haunting antique chorus of “He won’t hold you like I do” to keep his new five-minute odyssey steady, and his lyrics rise, shrink, and distort like intermittent waves of despair as he reflects on a newfound solitude. A closing verse from Rapsody brings us back to solid ground as she reflects on growth that comes from reaching rock bottom: “Now I know there’s nothing I can’t do / I dance in the rain knowing I can swim too.” —Carson Mlnarik
Sure Sure: “What Were We Doing If We Weren’t In Love?”
“What Were We Doing” feels like a soothing breeze of blurred memories, like a happy recalling of a past crush that didn’t quite pan out the way you hoped it would. The song’s titular question (from one of the best indie bands alive right now) is a fair one, but it doesn’t come from a place of anger: When singer Chris Beachy shrugs it off (“Guess I’ll just get over you,” he decides), it feels like both a resignation to fate and a tacit appreciation of the fleeting nature of love itself. —Terron Moore
Sizzy Rocket: “Rollerskating”
Sizzy Rocket is 28 years old, but that doesn’t mean she’s forgotten how it feels to be “young and way too in love.” The Los Angeles-based indie-pop act skillfully soundtracks the emotional overwhelm of first love in “Rollerskating,” capturing that pit-in-your-stomach feeling of going too fast, too soon (“You asked me how do you feel about forever, oh / And I ran from you”). Layered over a simple, synthy beat, her confessional lyrics hit even harder. “You’re the one that I’ll never get over,” she realizes, “‘cause you / Loved me at a time when I didn’t love myself.” It hurts to listen to, and I mean that in the best way possible. —Sam Manzella
Kiiara: “I Still Do”
Kiiara, best known from her 2015 breakout single “Gold,” is finally back with her newest one, “I Still Do.” The song, which boasts her signature staccato, chop-pop aesthetic, sounds both familiar and refreshing for 2020. Kiiara really gave us an infectious summer bop dripping with catchy vocals that question why you still love someone despite the lingering heartache. It also doubles as a perfect track to pop open a bottle of champagne to in the sun with your best judy. And with everything going on in this current hellscape, that is definitely something that we all should “still do.” —Daniel Head
How do you improve upon perfection? That is the question we had when we heard there was a new cover of Jennifer Paige’s classic “Crush” — a song that still sounds fresh more than 20 years after it first hit the radio. But leave it to cool Canadian songstress Ralph to serve her signature pop sound and transform “Crush” into a groovy club track that will leave you seeing vanilla skies and white picket fences in your eyes. —Chris Rudolph
Thank You, I’m Sorry: “Manic Pixie Dream Hurl”
You can hear the tremendously named “Manic Pixie Dream Hurl,” from Minneapolis trio Thank You, I’m Sorry, in two ways. The first is an acoustic bloodletting of bad feelings, courtesy of vocalist Colleen Dow, and the second is a full-band surge from mates Bethunni Schreiner and Sage Livergood. The difference? With some power behind her two-minute exploration, the urgency behind Dow’s words is redoubled, layering textures over a potent question: “If I were to just wait an hour, do you think that I’d feel any better?” —Patrick Hosken
Miranda Lambert: “Bluebird”
From burning down houses to cheating on dishonest lovers, country singer Miranda Lambert has never strayed away from exploring the darker spectrum of emotions in her music, as opposed to the idyllic, beer-battered, truck-loving fare that usually takes up space in the genre. It’s significant, then, that her latest single “Bluebird” is inherently hopeful, while still combatting themes that ring universal. Partially inspired by a Charles Bukowski poem, it’s a self-love anthem wrapped in self-assured zingers like “If the house just keeps on winning / I got a wildcard up my sleeve” and “If love keeps giving me lemons / I’ll just mix ’em in my drink.” The idea of feeling caged but taking the good with the bad feels especially timely, as we all struggle to find ways to channel the bluebird in our own hearts. —Carson Mlnarik
The Aces: “Zillionaire”
Dance-pop quartet The Aces have long known how to craft relentlessly endearing melodies and grooves; their 2018 debut, When My Heart Felt Volcanic was loaded with them. For their impressive follow-up, though, they’ve gone panoramic, expanding into moodier, more exploratory sonics. Closer “Zillionaire” fits a love-drunk ode into jazzy cocktail-pop, each digital string another bubble at the brim of the glass. Catch the fizz: The Aces’s sophomore album Under My Influence is out now. —Patrick Hosken
Monsta X: “Stand Up”
Sometimes you just need a lighthearted bop to help the world melt away for a second, or maybe even three minutes and 22 seconds. “Stand Up,” the final track from Monsta X’s latest mini-album, Fantasia X, will do exactly that. With its carefree whistles and trop-pop rhythm, it’s an uplifting reminder to Monbebe that joy and love will find you sooner than you think. —Daniel Head
Rozes: “All Up in My Head”
“You’re all in / And I’m all up in my head,” laments Rozes on her latest single. It’s a pop track, but don’t let tthe dance-worthy beat or her powerhouse vocals fool you. A distinct brand of melancholy tinges “All Up in My Head,” adding emotional depth to an already solid bop. Shedding those rose-colored glasses never sounded — or looked — so good. —Sam Manzella
Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande: “Rain On Me (Purple Disco Machine Remix)”
For those of you who prematurely left Chromatica, pull a fucking U-turn and get back here stat. The pop icon duo is back with a funky twist on their No. 1 single “Rain on Me” by legendary house producer Purple Disco Machine. The German native known for his 2013 hit “My House” has remixed the single into dreamy daytime disco bop, so grab your umbrella and cow bell, and let’s kiki. —Daniel Head
- Bop Shop
- Miranda Lambert
- The Aces
- Monsta X
- Jacob Collier
- Sizzy Rocket
Send your news and stories to us firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com and WhatsApp: +447747873668.
Before you go...
Democratic norms are being stress-tested all over the world, and the past few years have thrown up all kinds of questions we didn't know needed clarifying – how long is too long for a parliamentary prorogation? How far should politicians be allowed to intervene in court cases? To monitor these issues as closely as we have in the past we need your support, so please consider donating to The Climax News Room.