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Written and performed by Ben Gibbard, it is an acoustic solo ballad. Nearing age 29, Gibbard had never lost anyone really special in his life. Growing older during an ideal and comfortable time of his life led him to begin obsessing over death, the afterlife, and the weight of his relationships. He started to take stock of the importance of the people in his life and felt a need to say something about it, writing the song to deal with his problems of focusing on life by expanding his scope to include death and what comes afterward. The single was released on Atlantic Records, becoming one of Death Cab for Cutie's lowest-charting singles, peaking number 28 on the Modern Rock Tracks, number 66 on the UK Singles Chart and failing to chart on the Billboard Hot 100; however, "I Will Follow You into the Dark" was certified as gold by the Recording Industry Association of America, and is the band's best-selling single to-date. Despite charting lower than other singles, the single is still one of the band's most played songs on commercial radio stations. The song's popularity has led it to be featured in a various television shows and movies, and has been covered by numerous artists.