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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.
Monsta X: “Someone’s Someone”
“Is there someone to give it all?” (Break my heart why don’t ya, Kihyun!) No but really, Monsta X’s latest English release, “Someone’s Someone,” is a heartbreakingly sweet and nostalgic soft-pop track. The single is the K-pop group’s second English release in recent weeks, further strengthening their foothold in the North American market.
“Someone’s Someone” swells with hopeless romanticism as the members sing of looking for that “someone you can’t live without.” But don’t worry: While you look for that special someone, the men of Monsta X — Shownu, Wonho, Minhyuk, Kihyun, Hyungwon, Joohoney, and I.M — and their warm vocals are here to hold you with this perfect cuffing season bop. – Daniel Head
Sam Hunt: “Kinfolks”
Sam Hunt knows his audience like a “backroad.” And while his new song, “Kinfolks,” doesn’t stray from the country star’s usual, it still has exactly what fans have come to crave: vulnerable lyrics, references to the small town he grew up in, and yes, a hint of banjo for good measure. “I wanna introduce you to my kinfolks, to my old friends / To the house in the pines where the road ends,” he croons over a big, bright chorus. At its core, the track is about falling in love and wanting to take this person on a trip through his past — one where he pines through all of the small, seemingly insignificant details that made him who he is. “Kinfolks” finds Hunt serving up the romance and lyrical flow we fell for on Montevallo and shows he’s honed in on what the people truly want: a catchy love song that puts listeners into a heart-eyed trance within the first 15 seconds. And honestly, he succeeds. —Jordyn Tilchen
Katy Perry: “Harleys in Hawaii”
One Sex on the Beach, please! This week, Katy Perry brings to the hot and humid tropics of Hawaii. “Harleys in Hawaii” isn’t the stereotypical upbeat pop song we usually get from Katy, and there’s no reason to complain. This new single shows a more adult-contemporary side of the pop superstar, and its heavy, consistent bass line is sure to be stuck in your head for days. “When I hula hula, hula / So good you’ll take me to the jeweler, jeweler, jeweler,” Perry sings, highlighting her innate ability to deliver catchy, clever verses. Katy’s wit combined with a hypnotic, mid-tempo beat evokes a nighttime beach encounter equipped with motorcycles and hula dancers. —Dan McKenna
Battles ft. Sal Principato: “Titanium 2 Step”
This song came out two months ago, so let’s file it under “new-ish” – but this track by Battles, whose new album, Juice B Crypts, is out today, is just pure fun. It’s not until several listens in, like most tracks from this Brooklyn-based four-piece, then-three-piece, and now two-piece, that the song’s sonic details begin to reveal themselves. Between John Stanier’s pounding, intricate drums, Ian Williams’s… well, everything else, and guest vocals from New York No Wave legend Sal Principato, there’s just so much to discover (and dance to) with each play. Most importantly, my four-month-old can’t stop smiling every time I play this at home – all the more reason to keep it on repeat. —Rya Backer
For the first time in five years, Dan Snaith is back with his indie-electronic project Caribou, and with that comes a brand new single. “Home” is a nostalgia-inducing, mid-tempo jam that will immediately appeal to fans of The Avalanches, constructing itself on top of a sample of Gloria Barnes’s 1971 soul cut of the same name with bombastic brass, hip-hop-leaning percussion and orchestral synths. “When I’ve played it to friends, several of them have said that they feel like it’s speaking to their circumstances, about people close to them,” Snaith said in a statement. “We’ve all had moments when something changes suddenly and catalyzes a change in your whole life — when you need to go back to something familiar, pick up the pieces and start again.” —Bob Marshall
Mahalia: “I Wish I Missed My Ex”
If you aren’t listening to “I Wish I Missed My Ex” at least once a day, you are missing out. The English singer-songwriter is turning out bops like it’s her job (which it is), but this song is the one to listen to first. Its soulful, fun R&B sound will have you waving your hands in the air, chanting the lyrics with her, and finding comfort in your decision to ignore your ex’s text message. “Don’t you know you’re so predictable? / I know everything you’re going to say, like / Hey or hi, how you been lately? Fine / I been missin’ you baby,” go the all-too-relatable lyrics of the pre-chorus. Maybe that’s just my favorite part, but I guarantee it will be yours, too.
Luckily for us, Mahalia stopped by MTV News in September to perform on Office Hours, our intimate stripped-down performance digital series, and the whole office has been listening to her set ever since. The crowd dug her beautiful vocals and vibey energy, and if you want to keep the Mahalia party going after you’re done jamming to “I Wish I Missed My Ex,” kindly transition into her other hit, “Simmer,” featuring Burna Boy. —Alissa Godwin
Kim Petras: “Icy”
We know Kim Petras likes her life luxe — who could forget the bold opening lyrics of 2017 bop “I Don’t Want It At All,” where she proudly proclaims she wants all of your attention, summers in the Hamptons, and all her clothes to be designer. Her latest single finds her surrounded by ice once more, but make no mistake, this is a much different kind. “Icy” puts to words the feelings of resentment, hurt, and defiance one feels after realizing a breakup wasn’t worth their time. Still, we leave no relationship unscarred, and this particular split has made its mark” “So dumb I believed you really liked me / ‘Cause of you, now my heart is so icy.” With a beat that whips and an emotionally screaming chorus, it’s a jab in the heart as much as it’s a feel-better anthem. The cold and cool visual finds Kim in her wet pop-star prime, channeling her heartbreak to break free and evolve amidst glittery ice baths, lo-fi b-roll, lush fashion, and OK yes, plenty of ice in the form of diamonds, too. This is Kim Petras, after all. We’re obsessed. —Carson Mlnarik
Snarls: “Walk in the Woods”
Snarls is an alt-rock foursome from Columbus, Ohio, and their latest single, “Walk in the Woods,” fucking rules. Featuring lovelorn dual vocals over dreamy, reverb-soaked guitars, it mixes the best of emo and shoegaze into a powerful package with a sing-along chorus that confesses “I can’t quit you, baby! No matter how hard I try!” Like, what more could you want? Their first full-length album, Burst, is out later this year. —Bob Marshall
Jack Stauber: “Buttercup”
When I first heard this song, I was 100 percent certain it sampled a classic Frank Sinatra tune. Upon learning it was all Stauber, I was amazed. The effects applied to Stauber’s voice lend a somewhat disorienting, surreal lilt to what sounds like at first blush a typical indie-pop ballad not unlike what you might expect from Phoenix. But there’s something so special beneath the surface, behind the fuzz, that’s positively entrancing. I listen to this song at least twice a day now. I need more of that bombastic Sinatra impression, and I ask Jack: Why aren’t you a lounge singer? – Brittany Vincent
Kasher Quon: “Matter of Time 2”
Earlier this year, Detroit rappers Teejayx6 and Kasher Quon went viral for their super-powered team-up “Dynamic Duo.” Though they both traded increasingly ridiculous and physically impossible Bioreports Newslines that they helped each other write, Teejayx6 emerged as the breakout star, ascending to a fervent base of internet fandom with co-signs from Lil Yachty, Vince Staples, and more. It’s tempting to see this story heading in familiar direction: The friend still on the come-up gets angry at their stalled career and disses the rapper on the rise, leading to a falling out that can last entire careers. But for Quon, that’s not the case. He holds serious respect for Teejayx6, whom he considers a close friend. His new track, “Matter of Time 2,” is a testament to the strength of their brotherhood that’s so damn authentic, it’ll nearly make you tear up with just a couple of heartfelt bars.
The slow-roasted, dulcet beat unfolds for Quon and gives him the stage to speak on how he feels about Teejax6’s sudden success. Quon leads with his brand of rapid Bioreports Newslines that eventually evolve into a look at where he’s at in his career. He doesn’t waste words with flowery language; he slams his fists on the table and tells it straight up. “Why would I be mad because Teejay blew past me? It ain’t even shit because we all family,” he rhymes simply. He makes sure that there’s no question of his loyalty. This kind of humility shows that when relationships exist outside of industry politics first, everyone wins. —Trey Alston