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.
Thundercat & Tame Impala: “No More Lies”
Thundercat loves Tame Impala’s “Apocalypse Dreams” so much. When he met Kevin Parker and finally told him how much the 2012 psychedelic song means to him, it felt like a relief. “The minute you [sang], ‘Everything is changing,’” Thundercat recalled of their conversation to Apple Music this week, “it just made me feel OK.” The pair’s new collaboration, “No More Lies,” may have the same potency as a life-affirming tonic to someone else. It’s a historic meet-up: The world’s most exploratory bass player finally teaming up with an unmistakable drummer for a cosmic confection of slacker romance. With a rhythm section this good, both buttery, misty vocal performances feel like bonuses. We’re living in blessed times. —Patrick Hosken
Aiza: “Cocoa Butter”
My Black and beautiful femmes, aren’t you getting tired of the tedious trials and tribulations of your week? You’re racking up the cash, but when’s the last time you spent it on yourself? Aiza is here to remind you not to go overboard with work and to balance it with play. If that doesn’t sound convincing enough, the carefree lyrics and infectious beat of “Cocoa Butter” will sway you to clock out of the office and throw it back in the club. Capitalism isn’t stopping for anyone anytime soon (sadly), so get your kicks while you can: “Fast track, fast lane / They say you gotta work hard, Get paid / Try to tell me no pain, no gain / Always back to the same thing, insane.” —Gwyn Cutler
Jade Novah: “Butterfly”
Jade Novah knows that dropping a toxic partner is one big metaphor for metamorphosis. Once your old self is shed, you must spread your new wings and fly. This transformation appears throughout the Atlanta artist’s relaxed R&B track, relieving exterior pressure and encouraging inner discovery. Hear as Novah’s voice scales up an octave with each line of her chorus, raising your fluttering spirit up to the heavens. A spring anthem, the song embodies rebirth after a dark period. In the words of Jade Novah, it’s time to cut ties with what’s holding you back from higher ground. —Gwyn Cutler
Honey Revenge: “Are You Impressed?”
To answer the question posed by the title, yes, we are impressed. Honey Revenge, a Los Angeles-based duo destined to dominate the pop-punk scene, charge toward their June 23 debut album Retrovision with one catchy earworm after another. “Are You Impressed?” is especially relatable in the age of social media. “Sure, I could be doing more / But I could be doing less,” singer Devin Papadol belts with powerful, distinctive vocals that eventually lead into a defiant chorus. “Forever tryna please you but I can’t / Following the leader? Not a chance / Coming down with a fever / Treat her, I’m doing my best.” This incredibly vibrant band is as fun to watch as they are to listen to. You can catch them on tour all summer. —Farah Zermane
Julie Byrne: “Summer Glass”
The skittering melodic patterns that mark Julie Byrne’s “Summer Glass” are nice, but nothing is like her voice. The placeless songwriter seems to summon it from the deep, at once tidal and delicate, transforming the song into an experience. It’s just an early preview of what she can do. Find out the rest when her new album, The Greater Wings, drops July 7. —Patrick Hosken
NeONE the Wonderer: “RagJazz”
Hailing from Wolverhampton in England’s Midlands, NeONE the Wonderer does more than ruminate — he creates art imbued with existential lyricism and enthralling instrumentals. “RagJazz” is pure poetry received in sound yet felt in our souls. Human perception, value, contention, and ascension are some of the truths he speaks within a fired-up freeform flow. It’s perfect for people-watching; its active pace, snazzy saxophone, and wandering words capture what it’s like to be ardent and alive. NeONE’s EP, scheduled for release later this year, promises to take listeners on a journey of consciousness. —Gwyn Cutler
Deb Fan: “Pull My Hair”
There’s something incredibly ethereal and eerie about Deb Fan’s synth-filled single. Not only do you surrender to the fluctuating, experimental sound of her sonic atmosphere, but you submerge yourself in her story of submission within a haunting partnership. With lyrics like “You are nothing, but I feel you / Still you pull my hair, I can’t leave you,” you actualize the intensity of her paramour’s grasp on her stability. Fan ends with a mellowed-out version of her pain, like it was numbed. I swear I heard some siren-like cries in the mix and it shot chills up my spine. —Gwyn Cutler