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Bumper, Kat Cunning, Wonho, And More Made The Songs We Love This Week

Written by on September 4, 2020



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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.

  • Kat Cunning: “Supernova (Tigers Blud)”

    Kat Cunning first caught my attention in Netflix’s Trinkets as Sabine, a nomadic rocker chick shrouded in mystique. The real-life Cunning isn’t all that different, either. When they’re not stealing the show onscreen or advocating for social justice on Instagram, the nonbinary actor-singer makes baroque pop with a contemporary feel. Cunning’s latest cut is a shining example, marrying layered vocals and space-inspired lyrics for a track that’s as catchy as it is ethereal. Maybe it’s the tiger’s blood? —Sam Manzella

  • Macy Rodman: “Berlin”

    There’s a certain outsider’s mythos about the German capital, with its legendary party scene and sprawling creative communities, as a kind of anti-capitalist utopia, where apartments go for pennies and funding for the arts never runs dry. But the same could be said for any other city (or, recently, the suburbs); the human condition is to always desire something more, something different. Perhaps that sense of relatability is what made Macy Rodman‘s “Berlin” the unexpected breakout from her 2019 album Endless Kindness: The singer and co-host of the absurdist comedy podcast “Nymphowars” modeled the lyrics after a conversation she overheard while working her day job at a Brooklyn bar, her blasé spoken word take reverberating over a vortex-like electronic base as if from the opposite end of a cave. “I think I’m honestly going to move there,” the monologue concludes. Well, maybe. “Honestly, why not? I’ve just gotta ask my mom, but she’ll probably be cool with it.” —Coco Romack

  • Bumper: “You Can Get It!”

    From quarantine comes creativity — though watching TV and not leaving your couch is fine, too. Michelle Zauner (who releases music as Japanese Breakfast) and Crying’s Ryan Galloway decided to stay home, too, even though they live only three blocks apart, and make some songs together online. The result is a a new project called Bumper and a twitchy, lovely EP called Pop Songs 2020 inspired by Janet Jackson and Cibo Matto that blends lo-fi synth noise with intermittent guitar heroics. The power, as usual, comes from Zauner’s voice, an ocean of interiority and solace. —Patrick Hosken

  • Agnes: “Fingers Crossed”

    If you were hitting the clubs back in 2008, you probably broke a sweat to “Release Me,” the Euro-pop dance-floor filler from Agnes. The Swedish songstress stepped out of the spotlight for a little bit, but over the past year she has released a steady string of indie-pop singles. She describes her latest, “Fingers Crossed,” as a song that “ can lift you up to new dimensions and like a peaceful tank it crushes everything in its way.” Prepare to be crushed because “Fingers Crossed” is a Kate Bush-meets-ABBA dramatic disco track with a hook so catchy that you can’t help but fall under its enchanting spell. —Chris Rudolph

  • Wonho: “Open Mind”

    #WENEE, our time has come! Wonho’s debut album, Love Synonym #1: Right for Me, is finally here and hits us with a one-two sucker punch, beginning with “Open Mind.” Released in both Korean and English, it’s an unabashed, funky, and seductive banger that knows exactly what it wants and isn’t afraid to go and get it. Wonho takes us from “zero to 100” without a second to waste. Let go of all your inhibitions and tell him your desires because, as the song suggests, he’ll “bring ‘em all to life / for just one night” Whew! Well then, Wonho: Let me have a glass of water and compose myself. This is a strong opening track from a powerhouse Korean soloist, and if this is any indication, it’s just the beginning of what is sure to be a prolific, successful career. Expect the unexpected from Wonho and “keep an open mind, girl.” —Daniel Head

  • Spencer Barnett: “48 Hours in Paris (Live)”

    While the coronavirus pandemic has put a hold on all of our travel plans, Paris is definitely next on my list. If the overall aura of romance and fresh baguettes wasn’t inspiration enough, rising pop star Spencer Barnett’s new ode to the City of Lights had me sold. While the track’s original production is as frenetic and fast-paced as the tourists who flock to the city, Barnett shines all on his own in the stripped-down live performance video. I’m as much of a sucker for international pop expeditions as the next guy — see Shawn Mendes’s “Lost in Japan” — but Barnett’s Parisian experience of fresh tattoos, falling in love, and hotel rooms feels even more romantic when it’s just him and his guitar. “The feeling of being an incredible city for the first time is like no other,” Barnett said in the video’s caption. “With this song, I tried to capture the moment.” I’m only on my second replay, but I can see The Louvre now… —Carson Mlnarik

  • Sevdaliza: “Habibi”

    “Habibi,” a masterful creation from Iranian-Dutch artist Sevdaliza, is a smolder of a song. There’s piano here, strings, and some electronic elements (including an engulfing bass warble), but it really belongs to the voice of the artist herself, processed and remade into a digital rasp. “Habibi, habibi / No one understands me,” she sings, and in the stunning visual co-directed by the artist herself, that isolation takes center stage. Her second album, Shabrang, is out now. —Patrick Hosken

  • Hot Chip: “Candy Says” (Velvet Underground cover)

    In its original form, “Candy Says” is a night-blooming flower of a tune, with Doug Yule quietly cooing Lou Reed’s words of tribute to trans icon Candy Darling. Hot Chip, who’ve made a career out of peppering nocturnal dance floors with LED-ready jams, likewise slow down here for their fragile and lovely take on it, pumped full of electronic accents. Light a candle before you hit play. —Patrick Hosken

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