Pavement Earn First Gold-Certified Record with “Harness Your Hopes”

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Pavement celebrated a major achievement this weekend: “Harness Your Hopes,” a B-side later placed on the 1999 EP Spit on a Stranger, has achieved Gold status from the RIAA. It marks Pavement’s first ever RIAA certification.

“Harness Your Hopes” was originally recorded for Pavement’s fourth studio album Brighten the Corners, but frontman Stephen Malkmus opted not to include it on the album “for no good reason,” and relegated it to B-side status. Years later, however, “Harness Your Hopes” received a major boost in streaming numbers around 2017, has since gone viral on TikTok, and has now been certified as selling over 500,000 units.

The song’s original spike in notoriety hasn’t been tied to anything specific, but Stereogum attributed the rise in streaming numbers to a 2017 change in Spotify’s algorithm. It then exploded in popularity around 2020 when TikTok users began posting choreographed dances to the track.

“Harness Your Hopes” has since become one of Pavement’s most beloved tracks, and the band has included it on the setlists of their shows 75 times since their reunion in 2022. The band reissued their Spit on a Stranger EP in 2022, and released a music video for “Harness Your Hopes” directed by Alex Ross Perry and featuring Yellowjackets star Sophie Thatcher.

Revisit our list of Pavement’s 10 best songs, which features many other great Pavement tracks that aren’t “Harness Your Hopes.”

Pavement Earn First Gold-Certified Record with “Harness Your Hopes”
Paolo Ragusa

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