Tom Rowlands of The Chemical Brothers assisted on this song. The electronic musician later referred to it as "a Lancashire spaghetti western." Singer Jimi Goodwin explained to BBC's The Music Week: "Tom Rowlands from the Chemical Brothers was involved from early on in an arrangement capacity. We just wanted to try working with him and it ended up he helped us nip and tuck, it were him who coined it and we just loved that phrase."
Drowned In Sound asked Jez Williams (guitarist) and his brother Andy (drums) about the significance of the ashes being scattered in the music video. Jez replied: "The video was solely down to the director, China Moo-Young. We weren't actually there on the day it was filmed!" Andy added: "I don't know to be honest, but I think she did a great job. It was just meant to be about being constantly on the move and it mentions Preston and Blackpool in there...I'm not sure about the ashes though... probably a collection of heavily smoked Marlboro Lights!"
Frontman Jimi Goodwin said to Billboard magazine, that this song had "a country-ish shuffle beat. It's really expansive with a wistful melody. It's quite emotional."
The Doves told the NME April 11, 2009: "It started off as this moody, Johnny Cash-esque idea, but now it's almost three songs. There's the country vibe, a '60s filmic thing for the chorus and a loud bit."
The Doves teamed up with long time Doves collaborator Dan Austin to co produce all but two tracks of the Kingdom of Rust album. For "10.03" and "Winter Hill," the group drafted in producer John Leckie (Stone Roses, Radiohead, The Verve).
Kingdom of Rust was denied a top spot on the UK album chart by Lady Gaga's The Fame. It fell short by the tiny margin of four copies, the closest ever contested battle for a #1.