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.
Dove Cameron: “Boyfriend”
Dove Cameron has arrived! Between a handful of Disney-approved hits and a stint in the off-Broadway Clueless musical, Cameron is already a certified pop star. Yet her newest entry feels markedly different. After coming out as bisexual in 2020 — and making an appearance as a guest judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 14 — she fully embraces every facet of her identity on “Boyfriend.” Over a sinister-sounding production, complete with finger snaps, plucking strings, and well-timed beat drops, the singer makes a flirty invitation to a woman whose man dared to leave her alone on the dance floor: “I could be a better boyfriend than him / I could do the shit that he never did.” Her confidence and late-night promises are nothing short of convincing, especially in the chorus’s last alluring line: “Plus, all my clothes would fit.” —Carson Mlnarik
I’m holding out for a hero, and so far, Moroccan-Canadian singer Faouzia is serving my song in shining armor. As the pop scene awaits her upcoming project Citizens, including her latest percussive single “RIP, Love,” I’m diving back into this 2021 bop. It’s a much-needed uplifting call to support and love each other. “I’ve always been one to give my all in my friendships, and one-sided relationships are something that I’ve noticed a lot in people around me,” she told Hypebae. “This song is the opposite of that.” —Zach O’Connor
Giveon: “Lie Again”
If you’re like me and still have “Heartbreak Anniversary” stuck in your head, you’re in luck because Giveon is back with a new ballad to pull on your heartstrings. The singer-songwriter’s new single, “Lie Again,” pleads for a lover to lie about their infidelity rather than reveal the painful truth. Giveon croons, “Lie so sweet, until I believe that it’s only been me, to touch you / I pretend that no one has had you like I did / I don’t need the truth, baby, so lie, lie again.” The R&B melody has hints of jazz, a frequent inspiration for the artist. It’s the perfect song to comfort you in times of sadness, deceit, and heartache. —Alissa Godwin
The boys of Verivery take listeners on a futuristic journey with the hip-hop-heavy “Undercover.” In stark contrast to last month’s soft and sultry “O,” “Undercover” is a song dedicated to the VRVR rap line enthusiasts. Featuring a powerful trap beat layered with heavy 808s and lyrics describing an internal battle, “Undercover” not only display’s the group’s versatility but also their growth and maturity as a team. The track is accompanied by a dark and cinematic music video that transports viewers to a parallel universe through multiple sets and silhouettes, giving the members unique opportunities to showcase their sharp and ornate choreography. “Undercover” explores a surprisingly dark concept from Verivery, but when it comes to this group, it’s better to just expect the unexpected. —Sarina Bhutani
Matt Copley: “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” (Encanto Cover)
Encanto’s smash-hit “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” has spent 17 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 and the earworm has been stuck in our heads for just as long. The song has been covered countless times and even got a remix from Megan Thee Stallion during last month’s Oscars ceremony, but the latest treatment from Unwell vocalist and Broadway Does Punk mastermind, Matt Copley, is probably my favorite rendition. Copley’s musical theater roots are clear as he dynamically navigates the track’s multiple characters while still delivering a punk-rock bop. It’s a cover I never knew I wanted that has me manifesting a rock musical from Lin-Manuel Miranda. —Farah Zermane
Malia Civetz: “Partied Out”
Is it ironic that a song about being all partied out makes me want to get up and twirl? No? OK, good, because I am loving this cut from Malia Civetz’s EP Heels In Hand. The track is cheerful and bright, its dreamy virtual music video features RuPaul’s Drag Race queens Jackie Cox, Yuhua Hamasaki, and Laganja Estranja, as well as Los Angeles-based performer Rhea Litre. Why were these they included? Because they’re fierce, duh! “Drag performers have inspired me to be the most creative and free version of myself,” she told Instinct Magazine. “I respect their artistry and commitment to being the truest version of themselves.” As RuPaul closes every episode of the show: “Can I get an amen?” —Zach O’Connor
Zolita: “I F*cking Love You”
Alt-pop singer Zolita has captivated the internet with her viral lesbian romance trilogy. It starts with a high-school coming-out story in “Somebody I F*cked Once,” weaving its way to a college breakup with “Single in September,” and comes to an epic conclusion with new single “I F*cking Love You.” The track itself is a vivacious and triumphant anthem about fully giving into love, with its sticky chorus playing out like a synthy stream of consciousness: “What if I let it slip, tell you that / You’re the only one I’m seeing?” The infatuation in her voice is palpable, as if we’re hearing her come to an earth-shattering realization in real-time: “Oh my god, I fucking love you.” “The song itself is one of the first true love songs I’ve ever released, and I think it perfectly encapsulates the euphoric, terrifying feeling of falling in love, both sonically and lyrically,” she explained in a statement. As for its colorful, larger-than-life visual, which imagines Zolita as a massive pop star in the near future who finds herself reacquainted with the artsy outsider who stole her heart? You’ll have to watch the video to find out if the ending is as jubilant as the song scoring it. —Carson Mlnarik