Bop Shop: Songs By Charli XCX, Conan Gray, Alex Lahey, And More

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.

  • Alex Lahey: “Spike the Punch”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xe5DNOeIFJs

    Any song that begins “I got my ass kicked / It was fantastic” deserves special commendation. For Alex Lahey, it’s her euphoric first single since soundtracking Netflix’s animated hit The Mitchells vs. the Machines with the likewise bubbly “On My Way.” As its name suggests, “Spike the Punch” opts for a harder edge, and all the spiky guitar noise becomes the perfect counterpart to Lahey’s title pleas. —Patrick Hosken

  • Sir Babygirl: “Bed”

    In celebration of her 29th birthday — and the start of Scorpio season — Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Sir Babygirl dropped a celebratory mixtape, their first release since 2019, and it’s as effervescent and unhinged as the buzzing and bombastic tunes that put them on the map. “Bed” starts with a slowed-down assertion, “You can’t reach me / I’m lying in my bed,” setting the tone for a meditation on depression, insecurity, and romance over heavy reverb. “Which side of my face do you want to replace / The side that laughs, the side that jokes / The one that scares you the most,” she spits before launching into a heavenly honest chorus of, “Will you lay next to me until I come back to my body.” It’s a fitting refrain for a track as intimate as the furniture it takes its name from. —Carson Mlnarik

  • Charli XCX ft. Christine and the Queens and Caroline Polachek: “New Shapes”
    https://youtu.be/_yeNUltonbM

    “New Shapes” opens with the refrain, “What you want? / I ain’t got it,” which is rich coming from a trio of singers who are giving everything I could ever want from a pop song. For the evocative, synth-heavy banger, Charli XCX tapped her “demonically talented friends,” Chris of Christine and the Queens and Caroline Polacheck, to reflect on past relationships that didn’t work out. The ’80s-inspired “Charli, Carly, Chris” collab is a worthy follow-up to September’s “Good Ones,” and further proof that Charli’s next era is one to watch. —Sam Manzella

  • Cedric Noel: “Dove”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=meC3m0ZWAn8

    “Dove,” a brief and bath-warm tune from Montreal’s Cedric Noel, is less a song than a prayer. Over a circular strumming pattern, the instantly lovable rising artist sings only three lines, but they linger: “I’ve tried to care about trivial things like love / To care about trivial things like love / To waste away trivial things like love.” The rest of the runtime is devoted to cooing, overlapping harmonies, and a sense of great peace, even in the face of such stinging declarations. —Patrick Hosken

  • Conan Gray: “Telepath”
    https://youtu.be/6kiYXT8frBo

    Over the past few years Conan Gray has released some “maniacal” music, a steady stream of confessional alt-pop tunes collected on his Kid Krow album. Now Gray has dialed up the power pop with an ’80s twist on recent singles like “Overdrive,” and his latest, “Telepath.” In the song, Gray sings about predicting that his crush will come back to him, and not only does the track have a propulsive dancy sound, but it contains a chorus with lyrics like, “You’ll be sending me trash you should have left in the drafts.” Move over, Amanda Gorman, because this is poetry! —Chris Rudolph

  • HalfNoise: “Last Day on Earth”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2zfNeMLZ1o

    When he’s not banging the drums in Paramore, Zac Farro makes his own music as HalfNoise. For his latest release, Motif, he delved into the silky and expansive sounds of the late ’60s and early ’70s to create an entire vibe. The harmonies, the cathedral chorus, even the horn sounds all recall the sweeping grandeur of Dennis Wilson and George Harrison’s solo work, especially in the winking slide guitar. It doesn’t sound like pastiche or genre exercise. With this much attention to detail paid, Farro simply makes it sound good. —Patrick Hosken

  • Jordy: “If He’s in Your Bed”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6WP1sWPSTs

    After skyrocketing to TikTok fame over quarantine thanks to his viral ode to a long-distance beau, Los Angeles pop singer Jordy marks his arrival with his debut album Mind Games, out today. He spares no gory detail about the struggles of gay dating — the glowing temptation of the apps, the longing for something more, and the cycles of repetition — throughout the entire record, but “If He’s In Your Bed” marks a new level of honesty. “I said that in June I’d find love by December / Shit’s still not together,” he confesses before confronting his desire to feel some physical just to feel something at all. “Don’t cancel all your plans / Just for some shitty head,” he absolves, adding “‘Cause you’ll be just as lonely later / If he’s in your bed.” The girls are listening. —Carson Mlnarik

  • Snoh Aalegra: “Do 4 Love” (Bobby Caldwell cover)

    It’s not easy to take on a great song and make it your own, which is why Snoh Aalegra opts not to emulate Bobby Caldwell on “Do 4 Love,” her version of his 1978 smooth soul classic “What You Won’t Do for Love.” Instead, she finds the song’s deep heart and lives there for a bit, turning the room purple and fogging up the walls. Aalegra’s take loses the original’s bounce, swapping in atmospheric fluttering that makes you feel like you’re floating. —Patrick Hosken