In honor of the long-awaited Terror Twilight deluxe reissue, we look at the indie rock icons' 15 best songs.
Ask just about any music nerd and they'll agree: Pavement is one of the most important (and maybe the best) indie rock band of the 1990s.
Led by effortlessly cool frontman/songwriter Stephen Malkmus, Pavement formed in Stockton, California in the late '80s, releasing five studio albums before their breakup in 1999. They inspired like-minded indie rockers of the late '90s like Built to Spill and Modest Mouse, and their influence has trickled all the way down to Gen Z songwriters like beabadoobee and Snail Mail's Lindsey Jordan.
Since their breakup, all of Pavement's albums have received deluxe reissues — except for their last and most polarizing LP, Terror Twilight. To honor the long-awaited reissue (and the 2020 Pavement reunion that, obviously, didn't end up happening), we've rounded up the band's 15 best songs below.
1. “Frontwards” (Watery, Domestic EP)
It's been told countless times that Courtney Love, in a failed attempt to win over his attention, once called Malkmus the Grace Kelly of indie rock. But, of course, Pavement were never that interested in a sleek appearance or mainstream appeal, giving the line, "I've got style for miles and miles" on "Frontwards," an effortlessly tongue-in-cheek self-dig.
"Frontwards" observes an ever-changing society, in which "keeping up with the Joneses" often ends up a wash. Fans will almost unanimously agree that the song is one of the best Pavement ever made, if not their crowning achievement. Malkmus seems inclined to agree."'Frontwards' is kind of wistfully thinking about 1977 and '78, and being there in Stockton," Malkmus told Newsweek in 2015. "People just starting to smoke, and chicks with those combs and feathered hair and those tight jeans that make camel toes, and migrants, farm workers and stuff. To me, it's evocative of that. I can really see those images in my mind. And the chord changes are real basic. Oasis could have used those chords, as far as I'm concerned. They're that good."