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. And all March long, we’re celebrating Women’s History Month by spotlighting women making music that feels essential to right now.
Get ready: The Bop Shop is now open for business.
UMI: “Introspection Reimagined”
Last year, neo-soul extraordinaire UMI dropped Introspection, a lovely, probing EP of alt-R&B that hit like an indie film. For 2021, though, she’s given those tunes, including the title track and “Pretty Girl Hi,” the IMAX treatment: revitalizing her subterranean sound with bright horns, glimmering keyboards, and an analog warmth that stretches “Introspection Reimagined” out across five luxurious minutes. Worth every second. —Patrick Hosken
Radiohead’s most iconic song gets the bedroom-pop treatment in this hypnotically beautiful cover from Mxmtoon’s Maia. A “weirdo” in her own dreamlike world, the social media star-turned-singer-songwriter constructs a rich, eerily meditative soundscape that perfectly suits the ‘90s alt-rock hit. It’s impossible not to be lured in. —Sam Manzella
Taylor Swift ft. Maren Morris: “You All Over Me (From The Vault)”
With the announcement of Taylor Swift’s re-recorded version of Fearless came the news that she was also including six never-before-released cuts. The first taste of her vault entries, “You All Over Me,” finds her collaborating with Maren Morris, as well as Evermore producer Aaron Dessner to breathe new life into an early 2000s track. Instead of straddling her sonic differences since her explicitly country days, Swift fuses them together in a production that feels like “You Belong With Me”’s cheer captain mellowed out in college when she met Folklore’s “Betty.” The chorus is a somber kind of sticky, but the verses will hit the heart: “Like the dollar in your pocket that’s been spent and traded in / You can’t change where it’s been / Reminds me of me.” Are you kidding me?! Tears. —Carson Mlnarik
Demi Lovato: “Dancing With the Devil”
“I almost made it to heaven / It was closer than you know,” Demi Lovato sings on her new soul-baring comeback single. If you’ve seen her docuseries of the same name, which probes into the circumstances surrounding her near-fatal 2018 overdose, you do know how true that is. As she did on that year’s “Sober,” Demi chooses to be as real as it gets here, referencing the drug paraphernalia and mental rationalizations that nearly cost her everything. What prevents “Dancing With the Devil” from disappearing into a black hole, though, is her voice — bellowing as ever, rising up with great force and perseverance. —Patrick Hosken
Elle King and Miranda Lambert: “Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home)”
The world has given us enough macho drinking songs to last until the end of time, which is probably why this team-up between two of music’s most majestically husky-voiced ladies goes down like a cool glass of water — or shot of tequila, depending on how you’re feeling. With a beat that throbs and rocks to their respective strong suits, each line (like its retro visual) oozes with attitude. Elle King and Miranda Lambert have given us an unabashed bar anthem, and you’d be hard pressed to find four minutes as fun as this anywhere else on the radio. —Carson Mlnarik
Bachelor: “Stay in the Car”
In brief: Jay Som + Palehound = Bachelor, an explosive new team-up dripping with fuzz. More deliberately, it’s the sound of Melina Duterte and Ellen Kempner, two top-tier songwriters working at the height of their propulsive power. Unlike quietly smoldering debut single “Anything at All,” “Stay in the Car” careens wildly, thrillingly, and full of feverish promise. Their excellently named album, Doomin’ Sun, drops May 28. —Patrick Hosken
Meet Me @ the Altar: “Hit Like a Girl”
“Ladies and ladies / No gentlemen / Show me what you got / Do it.” The bridge of this superbly chunky pop-punk adventure from Fueled By Ramen signees Meet Me @ the Altar tells you everything. If you still need convincing, know that yes, there’s Paramore DNA here, and yes, the title is prime for a crowd shout. Let Téa, Edith, and Ada — who began making music online and have since evolved into a tight power trio capable of skyscraping goods like this — do the rest. —Patrick Hosken
Buffy Sainte-Marie: “My Country ‘Tis Of Thy People You’re Dying”
Buffy Sainte-Marie is one of the ultimate storytellers of America’s history. Her songs from over 50 years ago are as reflective, prescient, and applicable today as they were in the ’60s and ’70s, from “It’s My Way” and “Cod’ine” to this powerful song that calls to listeners, “Now that your big eyes are finally open.” She sings with emotional necessity and a reverberating vibrato. Her perspective as an Indigenous woman informs our past and present and shares a lamenting reality that many are still opening their eyes to. I invite you to open your ears and listen again, or hear for the first time. —Margaret Sclafani