This is something I've noticed that I don't hear anyone really talking about...
Essentially it's the way that separate rhythmic elements of most pop songs interact in a kinetic way with one another. Almost as though they were sparking off of one another(when one is playing the other one often isn't)...and this seems not to fit into any traditional counterpoint style.
One of the best examples of this is Owl City - Fireflies... it's a good example partly because of how distinct and crisp the 3 melodic/rhythmic sections interweave with one another.
Anyway, is there a name for this? I have a hard time coming up with bass lines, not to mention bass lines that spark off the melody this way. Are there any principles I can look up and learn for this?