Bop Shop: Songs From Seulgi, Carly Rae Jepsen, Sir, And More

Bop Shop: Songs From Seulgi, Carly Rae Jepsen, Sir, And More


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.

Shervin Hajipour: “Barāye”

In times of trial, music is a balm. Iranian singer-songwriter Shervin Hajipour released a ballad-turned-protest anthem last week with lyrics completely composed of tweets. His delivery is somber, filled with heartfelt, gut-wrenching protest. It echoes the cries in the streets of his country expressing outrage over the tragedy of Mahsa Amini, who fell into a coma and later died after being in custody for violating police standards for modesty. Titled “Barāya,” meaning “in the name of,” the song strings together tweets with messages like “Because of endless ‘because ofs,’” “Because of tranquility,” “Because of the girl who wished she were a boy,” before culminating in a repeated message from those protesting Amini’s cruel demise that becomes the song’s impromptu refrain: “Because of freedom. Because of freedom. Because of freedom.” —Virginia Lowman

Seulgi: “28 Reasons”

Though it has already been a big year for the ladies of Red Velvet, it’s only getting bigger with each comeback. Releasing her first-ever solo EP, lead vocalist Seulgi dives deep into her soul and takes a trip to the dark side with 28 Reasons. Its title track, a moody and mysterious mid-tempo, focuses on the duality of life. Lyrically examining the human psyche, Seulgi describes the way both good and evil exist simultaneously and the dangerous tightrope we all walk as a result. Such duality is also reflected sonically, as the track juxtaposes an electronic, bass-led melody with Seulgi’s signature sweet, sultry vocals. The striking visual utilizes advanced technology and lighting design to highlight the K-pop ace’s many talents, especially at the choreography-heavy chorus. With “28 Reasons,” Seulgi reveals her immense depth and thoughtfulness as an artist bursting with creativity. “28 Reasons” is one of 2022’s best releases, and is seemingly only the tip of the iceberg. —Sarina Bhutani

Sir: “Nothing Even Matters”

This song is for when you’re so whipped, life’s other excitements simply don’t compare – when your world is washed away with a touch. Sir sings his heart out and locks that heart away for his lucky lover. His lyrics are sentimental vows, yet his sound is a sexy composition – definitely a bump n’ grind kind of vibe. Whoever this “diamond in the rough” is for Sir, I thank them for shining bright enough to influence this belt-worthy ballad. —Gwyn Cutler

Bree Runway: “That Girl”

The industry is always looking for the next big thing, the star who’s got it all. Y’all just need to open your eyes a bit wider –– Bree Runway has already been that girl! Stunning and strutting in couture garments, she impresses with a sickening beat fit for the catwalk. While others may underestimate or be intimidated, her lyrics empower her fierce self and her avid listeners. So in the words of this underrated icon, “If you bad and you know it, better show out, girl.” —Gwyn Cutler

Q: “Stereo Driver”

Q embodies his inner Prince with his newest silky hit. A soothing mix of synthwave and R&B, this is the beautiful baby of the 1980s and ‘90s. The video is equally as entracing; Q is our lone DJ in a chrome club. His metallic tears open a sepia-toned naturescape where lost souls roam. Q is their guiding light, using his heavenly track to unite and enliven the people trapped within it: “Chasing a fight that won’t solve anything / Rest be assured that you got everything / I will be your stereo driver / For your body, mind and soul.” —Gwyn Cutler

Bayli: “Act Up”

A breezy R&B-pop dream, “Act Up” from newcomer Bayli revels in a simple refrain: “I love it when you act up.” The video shows her quest to win back her partner through all sorts of material ways, but the music itself reminds that sometimes the most potent apology is a swinging groove. —Patrick Hosken

Dayglow: “Radio”

Nothing grabs me quite like a piece of music that’s explicitly about music. Got a song with a refrain about a tune “on the radio”? I’m automatically into it. Dayglow’s latest, thankfully, has the goods to keep me tuned in well past just a hook or two. The itchy guitar recalls indie gold from the late aughts (also an auto-like for me), but the way he channels the warmth of discovering a new fave on the airwaves is an impressive feat. Sloan Struble is wise beyond his years. —Patrick Hosken

Princess Chelsea: “Love Is More”

Big year for Auckland! I’m thinking of The Beths here, of course, but fellow big-city Kiwi Princess Chelsea is continuing the good-vibes train with “Love Is More,” a sparkling dance tune that expands outward like the universe. “Love is much more than a beautiful feeling,” she sings on the chorus; the music video proves it. Boasting a drummer in a bucket hat, the clip reassures that love is indeed just like a ‘90s rave — it doesn’t stop even after the sun comes up. —Patrick Hosken

Weyes Blood: “It’s Not Just Me, It’s Everybody”

Clocking in at over six minutes, Weyes Blood’s newest single isn’t exactly the two-minute high-energy bops you would find teens dancing to on TikTok, but that’s not exactly the vibe she is going for anyway. On the lead single off of her forthcoming EP, And in the Darkness, Hearts Aglow, Natalie Mering sings about finding solace in the shared loneliness of the modern world. Sounding like a mashup between Aimee Mann and Karen Carpenter, the nostalgia-tinged track will have you gently swaying as you doomscroll. —Chris Rudolph

Carly Rae Jepsen ft. Rufus Wainwright: “The Loneliest Time”

In her lead single for her upcoming album of the same, Carly Rae Jepsen has had “The Loneliest Time” since departing from her estranged lover, as she and Rufus Wainwright team up on this bittersweet duet of unfinished business. Yet the song has an upbeat pop tone, accompanied with violin strings, emphasizing the thrilling, exciting urge to run back: “I’m comin’ over tonight / Knock on your door just like before / I need that look in your eyes.” Normally, I don’t think it’s best to return to an ex, but if you both are on the same page with the will to make it work, perhaps it’s worth rewriting another try after all. —Athena Serrano

Alex Vaughn: “Talkin”

Nostalgia for the ‘90s is still alive and well in Alex Vaughn’s sonic signature. Her new EP, The Hurtbook, has an effortlessly smooth, entrancing, and sultry flow that explores vulnerability and romance. Other songs from her project, like “Do You Ever,” evoke the melodic and structural influences of ‘90s R&B. Get familiar with Vaughn if you haven’t already. The Hurtbook is available on all digital streaming platforms.  —Sunni Anderson

Bop Shop