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.
Olivia Rodrigo: “Deja Vu”
As we’ve come to expect from Olivia Rodrigo, the details make all the difference. On “Deja Vu,” the slightly psychedelic follow-up to 2021-defining hit “Drivers License,” the following pop-culture detritus is shouted out by name: Glee reruns, Billy Joel’s “Uptown Girl,” strawberry ice cream, and Malibu day trips. It’s all in service of the larger narrative of heartbreak and hard questions that permeate such an endlessly listenable song. And that outro? It just might give you deja vu. —Patrick Hosken
Lil Nas X: “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)”
If Lil Nas X, national treasure and proud peddler of the gay yeehaw agenda, is going to hell, then he’s getting there in style. A lusty bop with nods to the rapper’s given name and Luca Guadagnino’s popular 2017 gay drama, “Montero” sees the chart-topping rapper of “Old Town Road” fame assure his lover that he can “call me when you want, call me when you need / Call me out by your name, I’ll be on the way.” But his overt references to queerness don’t end there. The single’s celestial CGI visuals see a scantily clad Nas X descend via stripper pole into the underworld and give the devil a lap dance. Unsurprisingly, “Montero” has attracted the ire of the religious right — and as far as Nas X is concerned, they can stay mad. —Sam Manzella
The Band Camino: “1 Last Cigarette”
The Band Camino at their most raucous is them at their absolute best: “1 Last Cigarette” screeches with resentment for waking up lost, friendless, and hungover, but damn, being a completely reckless fuckboy isn’t supposed to feel this thrilling. It’s the soundtrack to the morning that precedes a night you’ll never remember: anthemic mantras (“All my friends!!! They hate me again!!! I get too drunk!!! When I get depressed!!!”) that read like self-loathing misery, but hit your ear in raging, breathless screams, like sworn promises, like no other life could ever be more glorious. —Terron Moore
Lana Del Rey: “White Dress”
Lana Del Rey pushes her patented aesthetic further Midwest with her latest album, Chemtrails Over the Country Club, crafting a collection that sounds like her previous records purchased a cowboy hat, cracked open a carton of cigarettes on a long drive, and reflected on it all. Instead of beginning with a bop, she opts for the slow burn with “White Dress,” weaving a lyrical tapestry of nostalgia over references to Kings of Leon, the White Stripes, and a gold-hued era of anonymity that wasn’t that long ago. With a breathy and heavy whisper, she reminds us how she’s become the melancholy queen we know her to be. Who else could make a lyric like “down at the Men in Music Business Conference” sound like the tipping point for all-consuming wistfulness? —Carson Mlnarik
BTS: “Film Out”
BTS return after virtually no break (seriously, team no sleep) with “Film Out,” the first single off their new Japanese-language album, BTS, the Best. Co-written by the Golden Maknae himself, Jungkook, the rest of the members explore time, space, and memory, both sonically and visually, in “Film Out,” with heart-wrenching lyrics contrasting a melody that builds in tempo — a race against an hourglass. Regardless of language or location, the Bangtan Boys always find a way to pull right at the heartstrings of ARMY all around the world. —Sarina Bhutani
Janette King: “Airplane”
You have to let Janette King do it her way. An enthralling listen, new single “Airplane” draws its power from a steady synth rhythm and an icy house beat that pair up to help King’s voice bounce off the rafters. —Patrick Hosken
Isaac Dunbar: “Kissy Kissy”
It’s marvelous just how deeply “Kissy Kissy” swells and crashes with ’90s punk rock nostalgia, as 18-year-old Isaac Dunbar croons over soaring electric guitars for even the slightest bit of attention, as if the promise of true love literally hangs on his vocal cords. It hits every emotion critical to the pure teenage cynical angst of an unrequited crush: raw, newfound desire, brimming with fear, punctured by feigned nonchalance, all building into pure sonic bliss. “Write your name in my journal,” he sweetly sighs to himself. Then: “I should burn it, right?” —Terron Moore
Flock of Dimes: “One More Hour”
A new Flock of Dimes album means another chance to hear Jenn Wasner do what she does best: construct dreamy choruses from her incredibly adaptive voice while exploring a handful of musical styles. On “One More Hour,” the through-line is colorful, kaleidoscopic synth patterns; elsewhere on Head of Roses (out today), there’s plenty more ear candy to indulge in. —Patrick Hosken
The Orphan The Poet: “The Moxie”
Spring has finally arrived, which means we’re all literally and figuratively melting in our own way. Thankfully, Ohio alternative outfit The Orphan The Poet’s new track “The Moxie” is extremely alive and rocks hard enough to shake away your winter blues. With casual references to Keanu Reeves, guitar licks that spin, handclaps, and tastes of a heavenly chorus, it’s almost unfathomable that they were able to squeeze so much into this sonic journey, but it’s not a total surprise. After all, they’ve got it: the moxie. —Carson Mlnarik
St. Lenox: “Deliverance”
Here on Good Friday, Andrew Choi stands alone. His latest album as St. Lenox, Ten Songs of Worship and Praise for Our Tumultuous Times, is inherently religious, but as “Deliverance” reveals, his POV is less someone kneeling in the pews than standing in the parking lot, weighing whether or not to make an entrance. Shades of Stephin Merritt and John Darnielle abound here, both in the storytelling and the direct vocals, but Choi is also his own kind of performer – muscly, not showy, economical, and completely unforgettable. —Patrick Hosken