The song finds Pecknold reflecting on how the self-centered individualism of his youth has influenced him as a white American adult. He explained to the UK newspaper The Independent: "I wanted that song to be a completely open opinion, with no kind of poetry, if you know what I mean. It's hard to articulate without it sounding really reductive, but I was born in the Eighties, a time of relative plenty in the United States, so I felt like the 'individual' thing was really emphasized when I was a kid, and I just don't know where that has left me. If everyone's just like this autonomous individual, y'know, to me it would be culturally..."
He added: "I don't want to sound too political or anything, because this is just my personal thought, but I guess I feel like in being a white male from America, a member of the most privileged sect on earth, I have everything that people all over the earth are fighting for, and sometimes I just feel like I'm not really doing enough with that. That song is basically about that, the desire to cultivate something more than oneself."