Bop Shop: Songs From Dess Dior, Jamie xx, Aqua, And More

Bop Shop: Songs From Dess Dior, Jamie xx, Aqua, And More

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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.

Jamie xx: “Kill Dem”

Jamie xx’s songs are all about atmosphere, and for “Kill Dem,” the DJ and producer’s first new song since 2020, he leans on London’s Notting Hill Carnival to help provide a feel. The result is a colorful, linear, Caribbean-inspired dance track that’s warmer than some of his past work, which often tripped into icy terrain. Here, it’s all sunshine. —Patrick Hosken

Jean Dawson: “Pirate Radio*”

Jean Dawson isn’t riding a wave; he’s making the motions. Known for his avant-garde and explicit expression of emotion, Dawson has gained traction with his previous albums, yet still remains underrated. Born in Tijuana, the half-Black and half-Mexican boy learned isolation and individuality. He’s channeled this childhood loneliness with self-sabotage in this intense yet tranquil track. This is his fourth single released from his upcoming album, Chaos Now*, which drops October 7. “I like to think that I’m all in / I like to think that I’m there / I push my head underwater / Just to come up for air.” —Gwyn Cutler

Aqua: “Doctor Jones”

Aqua’s debut album Aquarium arrives on vinyl for the first time today in honor of its 25th anniversary. While the euphoric, ’90s Europop LP will always be remembered for “Barbie Girl,” it’s full of jubilant bubblegum gems like “Doctor Jones,” which gives Indiana Jones the cartoon treatment. The track is a dance-pop anthem that puts rapper René Dif in the role of the famous explorer, while Lene Nystrøm plays a lover reminiscing on their summer romance after he leaves on an expedition. The call-and-response cadence, the high-pitched “Yippie-aye-ee-ooh,” and The Temple of Doom-referencing “Wake up now” make this another sugary sweet earworm, while its larger-than-life, satirical video — featuring voodoo, a cannibalistic tribe, and one ginormous spider — is everything that was fun about the ’90s. —Carson Mlnarik

Becky Hill and Galantis: “Run”

Becky Hill has entered the Bop Shop. If you’re looking for a song to bring you to your feet, don’t walk, but (play) “Run” as soon as possible. The British singer joined forces with electronic duo Galantis to create an uplifting and free track about the decision to keep trying in a struggling relationship or not. It’s hard not to get captivated by the infectious dance beat and strong pop vocals, even if Hill is singing lyrics like, “We don’t wanna fall out of love again / Too afraid of another chance / We run and run and we run / Further away from love / What do we do about us?” Who says you can’t dance your uncertainties away? —Alissa Godwin

Wet Leg: “Daisy” (Ashnikko cover)

Leave it to Wet Leg, purveyors of the chaise longue and Vincent Gallo’s trash opus Buffalo ‘66, to cover a song as extremely online as Ashnikko’s “Daisy” — and to make it completely their own. With attention-grabbing lyrics like “Pet the kitty, call me catty / Make your man call me daddy” delivered in a flat monotone over a new wave beat, this new “Daisy” blooms with an attitude. —Patrick Hosken

Bazzi: “Lost in the Simulation”

With a galloping beat and rousing lyrics about sex, drugs and all the above, Bazzi brings the party in this banger off his brand new album Infinite Dream. Though it’s bright and boisterous, it’s got a dark side, and it’s not just the gritty guitar. Listen closely: Among the debaucherous lyrics is a deeply-rooted, existential meaning — the world is changing without our control, but what we can sway is our intake of fun. Our overlords want us distracted, and it’s hard not to surrender to the pleasures of our people. —Gwyn Cutler

Kito feat. Banks: “Sad Girl Music”

The song may be titled “Sad Girl Music,” but at first listen, Kito and Banks will have you thinking and feeling differently. The song opens with an electronic, vibey bass that rattles your insides. The dance beat that carries the rest of the track feels like one you’d love to hear in the club, even if the lyrics tell the story of mistakes made at (most likely) that same club. Banks regretfully sings, “This be that sad girl music / I ain’t tryna see nobody / I’m just dyin’ feelin’ sorry tonight / I’ve been a bad girl / My baby just saw me with somebody, yeah he saw me with somebody last night.” Whether it works out or not, all apologies should be this catchy from now on. —Alissa Godwin

Ravyn Lenae ft. Doechii: “Xtasy Remix”

Ravyn, Doechii, and Kaytranada? When I tell you I ran to stream this track, it’s an understatement. No surprise here — it’s a club sensation waiting to happen. A joyful paradox, it is both like a seductive whisper and an exhilarating holler with its percussion. Hazy and hypnotic, this is the perfect jam for dirty dancing and disconnecting from the mundane world. —Gwyn Cutler

Dess Dior: “It Bitch Freestyle”

Dess Dior exudes confidence throughout every track on her new mixtape Raw, but that braggadocious spirit didn’t just come overnight; it was earned. The Atlanta rapper has been working on her craft since she started her first group at age 12, and her zinger-packed “It Bitch Freestyle” is proof all her hard work has paid off. The track serves as a syllabus for everything she stands for: authenticity, honesty, and believing in yourself. “From the start, always knew I was one of the ones / Why these bitches be coming in second,” she spits, stacking up bar after bar about the grind, before asserting that she’s the “it girl, that girl, whatever you want to call it.” Y’all better hop on the Dess train, because she’s just getting started. —Carson Mlnarik

Bop Shop