Zara Larsson’s Clubby Call, Essential Listening By Ian Isiah, And More Songs We Love

Zara Larsson’s Clubby Call, Essential Listening By Ian Isiah, And More Songs We Love


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.

  • Snoh Aalegra: “Dying 4 Your Love”

    “Dying 4 Your Love,” title alone, is a mood. Thankfully, Snoh Aalegra — back with another stormy, sultry cut — loads up her latest with the sonics to support such a disposition. Soft background guitar plinks, gauzy layers of desire, and a voice as deep as the ocean are just some of them. Listen. You’ll hear the rest. —Patrick Hosken

  • Glass Animals: “Heat Waves”

    “Heat Waves” is the latest in a string of solid quarantine bops from Glass Animals. It’s also the sexiest. The English art-pop group reflects on a hot tryst gone cold with a trademark psychedelic flair, bolstered by lyrics that sizzle and scintillate (“Road shimmer wigglin’ the vision / Heat, heat waves, I’m swimmin’ in a mirror”). We’re approaching the second full week of July, yet I’m still thinking about those “late nights in the middle of June.” —Sam Manzella

  • Zara Larsson: “Love Me Land”

    The clubs might be closed, but Zara Larsson is transporting us to the dance floor — if only for a moment — with new single “Love Me Land.” Over a pulsating beat and an orchestral sample that feels like a call to arms, the Swedish pop star finds herself falling back in love against all odds. “Never thought I would love again / Here I am in love me land,” she sings in a sticky chorus penned by pop-lyric royalty Julia Michaels and Justin Tranter. The visual turns the heat up a notch higher, with Larsson leading the charge in a solo dance party. —Carson Mlnarik

  • Ian Isiah: “Loose Truth”

    There is a comforting timbre to Ian Isiah’s sweet falsetto, which chimes over mid-tempo snares and slow-grooving keys on “Loose Truth,” a track off his forthcoming Chromeo-produced EP, Auntie. The truth referred to by the title is the tenacity of Isiah’s community. The song is dedicated to them, and particularly to essential workers; a corresponding music video, released last week, honors both, with visuals of people in and out of scrubs embracing, laughing, dancing, and hanging out on stoops. Community chatter book-ends the lyrics, like a choir to Isiah’s testament: It’s a tender proclamation of the power of family in a pandemic, gospel for a heavy heart. —Coco Romack

  • Ellis: “Lover” (Taylor Swift cover)

    Part of the warmth of Taylor Swift’s “Lover” is how it’s always felt familiar, as cozy as the shared apartment with the yuletide bulbs its lyrics reveal. Ontario singer-songwriter Ellis wisely keeps the interior charm for her own bedroom cover of the song, replacing Swift’s pop-star vocal runs with understated mooniness. She scales back the instrumentation, too, creating an alternate universe where “Lover” remains a notebook entry instead of the stadium standard it’s become. Still, both versions are good for swaying with your partner, or by yourself. —Patrick Hosken

  • Paco Versailles: “Alive”

    Dust off your castanets and prepare to feel the “Dancemenco” fantasy. That’s the term Paco Versailles coined for their new genre of tropical music. Capital Cities’ Ryan Merchant and guitarist, Vahagni, serve Empire of the Sun meets Poolside perfection as Paco Versailles, who have been consistently releasing “warm blanket bangers” since forming last year. Their latest, “Alive,” continues their sunny, Spanish-inspired streak and will motivate you to spend the rest of the summer brushing up on your flamenco fan choreography.—Chris Rudolph

  • Boniface: “Keeping Up”

    Boniface’s self-titled debut is a stunningly assured indie-pop album: Its best parts question the weight of finding ourselves in relation to those trying to love us, a space rarely this confidently explored through a queer lens. “How can I help you when I’m running from the same damn thing?” they wonder on “Keeping Up,” a bouncing, synth-drenched meditation on the tension between a selfish need to be loved and drowning in order to keep someone happy. —Terron Moore

  • Kygo ft. Kim Petras: “Broken Glass”

    When it comes to scream-worthy summer anthems, Kim Petras and Kygo do not disappoint on their own — from “Malibu” to “It Ain’t Me.” Their collaboration on Kygo’s Golden Hour is no exception, rejecting a fatalistic view of romance and celebrating what was had. “The only thing we had in common with each other / Was destroying everything we touched,” Kim sings before ascending into a triumphant chorus. The video finds Petras perched on a car in Mad Max-esque ruin, fabulously dancing on broken glass as ash rains down and letting out a signature “Woo ah” for good measure. —Carson Mlnarik