Sixteen Years Later, Indie Rock Band Pavement Has a Certified Gold Track After ‘Harness Your Hopes’ B-Side Blows Up on Spotify & TikTok

pavement harness your hopes
  • Save

pavement harness your hopes
  • Save
Pavement in 1993, more than three decades before ‘Harness Your Hopes’ would be certified Gold by the RIAA. Photo Credit: Masao Nakagami

Sixteen years later, a track from indie rock group Pavement has been certified Gold by the RIAA after riding a wave of viral success on Spotify and TikTok.

That certification was specifically issued five days back for “Harness Your Hopes,” which the 35-year-old band had originally recorded for (but didn’t include on) 1997’s Brighten the Corners.

Subsequently, the B-side – which doesn’t appear to have been especially well known even among diehard supporters prior to taking off – released as part of an expanded edition of Brighten the Corners, once again via Matador, in 2008.

As the story goes, Spotify algorithm adjustments then propelled the song into the commercial mainstream around 2017 – quickly rendering it the most streamed release from Pavement. A few years thereafter, “Harness Your Hopes” also caught on among the TikTok community, which undoubtedly fueled further stream-count growth on Spotify and elsewhere.

“Harness Your Hopes” Streams by Platform

  • YouTube – 3.97 million views (3.79 million on the official music video, 183,000 on the official lyric video)
  • Spotify – 151.82 million streams (148.49 million on the original upload, 3.29 million on a live rendition, and 34,000 on a sped-up version)
  • TikTok (according to Chartmetric data) – 260.8 million views of clips featuring the tagged and unmodified track across roughly 74,700 posts
  • Shazam (according to Chartmetric data) – 327,044 Shazams since August of 2020, including 29,600 during the past month

All roads ultimately led to Gold certification for “Harness Your Hopes,” which has eclipsed the commercial success of the indie group’s 1994 breakout hit “Cut Your Hair.” Capitalizing on the momentum, which is presumably driving merch and physical sales, Pavement reunited in 2022. (The group had in 2019 announced a live-performance reunion, but the plans were shelved due to lockdown measures.)

At present, Pavement is still performing – including a show at São Paulo’s C6 Fest two days ago – and looks to have suggested that new material could potentially be in the cards. While Spotify also seemingly played a key part in helping “Harness Your Hopes” to catch on, TikTok’s role in the resurgence is significant.

Notwithstanding the possible stateside ban it’s staring down, the app is still emphasizing its perceived effectiveness as a music-promotion and -discovery tool. Though the scope of those capabilities is difficult to define precisely, TikTok’s confidence certainly wasn’t hurt when Taylor Swift opted to rejoin the service before it had mended fences with Universal Music Group.

Interscope-signed Billie Eilish has since leaned into promotional efforts on the platform, where works like I Monster’s “Who Is She?” (2005) have gone viral as well.