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.
Another year, another charitable holiday release from Phoebe Bridgers. This time around, its a cover of Merle Haggards Christmas-themed If We Make It Through December benefiting the Downtown Womens Center in Los Angeles. Piano instrumentals and echo-y, layered background vocals make for a chillier take on the 1973 country classic. And Bridgers, who is bisexual, doesnt change the pronouns in Haggards original lyrics, only swapping daddys girl for my girl in the second verse. I have no choice but to stan. Sam Manzella
Cautious Clay got subtly sexy in his smooth breakout hit Cold War, which appeared in 2019s Booksmart and was sampled by Taylor Swift. Now hes struggling to manage the gray areas in Dying in the Subtlety, the latest single from his forthcoming debut album. The nuances of relationships both good and bad are put on trial as the Brooklyn-based singer contemplates his conscience and shreds on guitar. With a decidedly more alternative sound, his soulful voice sounds as comfortable weaving verbal poetry with lines like, Love is just a passion with a four-letter name, as it does shouting out Jason Statham. While he waves around a Guitar Hero axe, dont be fooled: Theres nothing subtle about this multi-instrumentalists talent. Carson Mlnarik
Considering the banner year nu-disco had in 2020 (see: ChromaticaSay So, Dynamite, and more), it only makes sense that the year would close out with Dua and Miley leading us directly into the days of future past. In the case of Prisoner, its icy post-disco, a continuation of Lipas Future Nostalgia exploration, and dazzling new terrain for Cyrus. Theres plenty more where that came from on Plastic Hearts, the latters new album, out now. Patrick Hosken
A Turkish folk song gets re-envisioned as a sleek Michael Mann film soundtrack, thanks to Amsterdams Altn Gün. The band has made waves for its athletic, psych- and funk-inspired romps through music of the past, and on the ice-cold Ordunun Dereleri, theyve never sounded cooler. Patrick Hosken