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.
Paramore: “This Is Why”
In the five years since Paramore’s most recent album, the synthy and propulsive After Laughter, band leader Hayley Williams embarked on a solo music mission to explore artier, angular, and slightly weirder sounds. Her 2020 album Petals For Armor is full of unexpected moments; meanwhile, “This Is Why” — her first new song with Paramore since 2017 — boasts them in spades. The action begins subtly enough with light funk guitar and atmospheric textures, but by the end, a megaphone-ready shout-along chorus of “This is why I don’t leave the house” will have you yelling for more. You’ll have to wait until February for it, when Paramore’s new album of the same name drops. But hey, that’s better than five more years. —Patrick Hosken
Joyce Wrice, Kaytranada: “Iced Tea”
Joyce Wrice likes her revenge like she likes her iced tea: served cold. Her song may have been released in March, but her sinister music video has creeped in right on time for the scary season. With heart-stopping choreography and jaw-dropping animation, this modern day Kill Bill will send a chill up your spine. Her cohort Kaytranada is like her katana, a sharp and formidable ally that only fortifies her artistry. I have officially crowned Kaytranada as my reigning king of collaboration thanks to this hot slice from Ms. Wrice. —Gwyn Cutler
Bronze Avery: “Say Goodnight”
Bronze Avery has carved a niche for himself in music, existing between the boundaries of R&B, pop, dance, and house with velvety beats and an even smoother voice. His latest single “Say Goodnight,” which arrives ahead of his highly anticipated debut album Softmetal (due out November 17), oozes pure vibes, with each lyric rolling weightlessly off his lips, despite the all-consuming, doomed relationship that inspires every word. So often, queer singer-songwriters can be pigeonholed into either playing to a wholesome facade or going full raunch. But Avery’s perspective seems to come from the middle, as he brandishes authenticity that reflects his identity alongside undeniable sensuality to create a track that anyone can put on repeat during those late-night hours. —Carson Mlnarik
Grace Gaustad: “Monster”
As Episode 5 of their PILLBX series, 20-year-old singer-songwriter Grace Gaustad’s latest is “Monster,” an upbeat mid-tempo that reflects on the aftermath of infidelity. A song originally written as a piano ballad, “Monster” is brought to life through the addition of dance-pop elements, making it a track perfectly designed for crying on the dance floor — a true sign of the times. Accompanied by a moody, narrative-driven music video, reflecting Grace’s regret physically through a car crash, the young artist displays their creativity, both sonically and visually, and I can’t wait to see what they do next. —Sarina Bhutani
George Riley: “Desire”
It’s remarkable how much you learn about London talent George Riley in under two minutes on “Desire.” Her impressive R&B leanings, for one, and the fact that she’s “pushing time away ‘til the morning,” even though she’s not sure about that particular decision. On top of an almost imperceptible keyboard line, Riley’s words appear then vaporize nearly instantly. You’re left with merely an impression of who she might be. But it’s a stunning one. —Patrick Hosken
Kailee Morgue: “Queen Bitch”
We’ve all heard of teen angst, but no one ever tells you it bleeds into your twenties. Kailee Morgue isn’t shy about describing the grueling paranoia of one’s looming adulthood. That’s why she’s coming for Bowie’s title of “Queen Bitch” – she’s here to drop the harsh reality on us and keep on kicking. Her early 2000s sound, reminiscent of grunge-pop greats Courtney Love and Avril Lavigne, stirs a rebel-rousing attitude, enough to have you storming through packs of posers with your headphones in. Think Kat Stratford from 10 Things I Hate About You. —Gwyn Cutler
Blackstarkids: “NuYork V2*”
I’ve been following the Y2K trio Blackstarkids since a tornado of fame whipped them out of Kansas. Submitting them into Bop Shop was a long time coming, like their new album Cyberkiss*! It was tricky picking my favorite out of the bunch because every single was a scintillating, cybertastic blast. Unlike most electronic bops, the lyrics aren’t superficial – they’re philosophical, expressed in Black joy. I chose this track because I desperately want to hear this blaring out car windows on a neon-lit night drive. “Do the Right Thing” was a dangerously close second. Honor me and Spike Lee by listening to it. —Gwyn Cutler