It’s a song that Gang of Youths has never played live. It’s also a song that Gang of Youths never released as a single. No matter. Today, “Achilles Come Down” became the band’s most-streamed song on Spotify.
As of this afternoon (and shown above), “Achilles” had 55.34 million streams, surpassing “Let Me Down Easy” and its 55.27 million streams.
This should come as no surprise to anyone who’s been watching those streaming numbers over the past 18 months. And even if you haven’t, I bet there’s a good chance you’ve heard “Achilles” being used on TikTok or remixed by fans on YouTube. (The band’s official audio-only upload is far and away their most-viewed song on YouTube, with more than 16.2 million views right now.)
What’s going on here?!?
Turns out the song has developed an almost cult-like following in “dark academia” circles and amongst Greek mythology fans across the internet. I didn’t see this myself, but we’ve been told it appeared about a year ago on some TikTok viral/trending song lists, which helped boost its popularity.
Here’s an example of the song in use on TikTok:
@bookchickens I love this aesthetic sm #yabooks #booklover #bookclub #bookworm #yafantasy #books #darkacademia #fyp #bookish #booktok #aesthetic ♬ Achilles Come Down – Gang of Youths
On YouTube, meanwhile, a lot of folks who like the song are posting slightly edited versions, like this one that’s been slowed down just a bit with some reverb added, and boasts more than 591,000 views at the moment.
It’s also the band’s most viewed song on the popular lyrics site, Genius.com, with more than 413K page views. That’s almost triple the number of times people have looked at the “Let Me Down Easy” lyrics, and almost as much as the rest of the top five songs combined.
So, while we’re making a big deal out of “Achilles Come Down” becoming the most popular Gang of Youths song on Spotify, the reality is it’s already been their No. 1 song in several other corners of the internet. I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for the band (or Dave solo) to ever perform the song live in concert, but I suppose you never know.
For more background on the song, including Dave talking about his inspiration and some additional links/videos, check out this thread in our forum from last spring (and feel free to add to it, too).