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 â€” 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.
Kim Petras ft. Elvira, Mistress of the Dark: â€œTurn Off the Lightâ€
Halloween is queer Christmas. In lieu of providing actual evidence to substantiate that claim, I raise you the title track from Kim Petrasâ€™s 2018 EP Turn Off the Light, Vol. 1. The transgender pop starâ€™s collab with Elvira was already a dark, dance-pop banger before the Mistress of the Dark came out of the coffin; now itâ€™s canonical LGBTQ+ excellence. Turn off the light and hit play, ghoulfriend! â€”Sam Manzella
Space Kiddettes: â€œDead to Meâ€
Texas electro-pop duo Space Kiddettes kick the synths into overdrive on their latest single “Dead to Me,” an emotional and evocative bop in the vein of some of Halloween queen Kim Petras’s spookier offerings. From its opening notes, the track sounds like Devo on a sweat-drenched, late-night dance floor as vocalists Trent Lira and Devin Will begin to spill on a toxic romance. However, it’s the sugary sweet-sounding chorus and its deceptively severe lyrics that stick long past the first listen: “Dead to me / You don’t remember what you said to me / I know you’d like to be a friend to me / But baby, you are dead to me.” Throw in a reference to dancing on graves, some haunting background vocals, and a quirky visual that’s as fun to watch as it surely was to make, and we’ve got another Halloween banger. â€”Carson Mlnarik
Megan Thee Stallion: “Eat It”
On newly released collection Something for Thee Hotties, Megan Thee Stallion delivers 21 tracks from her career so far â€” one that in a lot of ways feels like it’s just begun â€” that showcase precisely why she’s at the top of both the industry and her own game. “Eat It,” a spiritual successor to “WAP,” is hard as hell. Apart from being a two-minute list of commands (“Eat it ’til I faint / Kick you out, here’s a towel, n—a, wipe your face”) and incredible flexes (“I got so much plaque buildup, RIAA my dentist”), it’s just so much fun, showcasing Meg’s singular confidence and her ability to make a moment her own. â€”Patrick Hosken
Payday ft. Danny Brown: “Vampire”
Here’s another spooky one. Over a bracing backbeat, teen rapper Payday admits, “I’m a vampire and I just might bite ya,” and it’s easy to believe. Throw in an appropriately bloody video â€” set in the daytime to show the artist’s true vampiric power â€” and an alternately intense and whimsical guest verse from Danny Brown, and you get a potent, haunted sonic cocktail. The whole thing has shades of “So Whatâ€™cha Want” and just might make your Halloween playlist in time. â€”Patrick Hosken
AnaÃ¯s Mitchell: “Bright Star”
The AnaÃ¯s Mitchell Musical Universe just keeps growing. After conquering Broadway with her musical Hadestown, a near-perfect album with folk trio Bonny Light Horseman, and lending her voice to some key Big Red Machine collaborations, the singer-songwriter is returning to her roots. Her latest single, “Bright Star,” nods to that restoration, showcasing her knack for gorgeous, compelling narratives that pull at you. There’s so much more to come on her self-titled LP, due out in January. â€”Patrick Hosken
Lana Del Rey: â€œBlack Bathing Suitâ€
Lana Del Reyâ€™s eighth album, Blue Banisters, arrived last week, nearly seven months after her last release, finding the storied siren reflecting on her more topical thoughts: cryptocurrency, quarantine, and an iPhone 11 (which she very skillfully rhymes with â€œFuck you, Kevin.â€) Though sheâ€™s recently found comfort in understated arrangements, lyrical zingers, and swinging slow tempos, perhaps no track ties together her past and present like â€œBlack Bathing Suit.â€ She seems to reflect on her own growth as an artist and individual: â€œThe only thing that still fits me is this black bathing suit,â€ before spinning the track into a Born to Die-esque jazzy chant: â€œHe said I was bad / Let me show you how bad girls do.â€ And when she said, â€œIf this is the end / I want a boyfriend?â€ Eternal mood. â€”Carson Mlnarik
Tasha: “Bed Song 1”
Tasha, an evocative singer-songwriter from Chicago, is gearing up for the release of her new LP, Tell Me What You Miss The Most, on November 5. A great introduction to her abilities comes in “Bed Song 1,” where a direct, circular guitar rhythm is enough to entrance you, leaving you completely open to hear Tasha bare her soul. “It is a song about love ending, and wanting to linger in the imagining of it at its best, its warmest, and its most tender, while you try to let it go,” she says in a statement. â€”Patrick Hosken