Kurt Vile named this song after the Philadelphia-area suburb where he lives. "Mount Airy Hill is me completely calm," Vile told the UK newspaper The Sun. "It's a beautiful part of the city, with trees and mountains, but it's still in Philadelphia - not to be mistaken for a suburb. If you want to talk to me. You can come see me there. That's it."
Vile released "Mount Airy Hill (Way Gone)" as the third single from Watch My Moves. He recorded the song along with much of the record in his newly created basement studio, OKV Central. Vile finished building it just before the pandemic hit in 2020, and his home studio gave him a level of creative independence he's not felt since his early recordings in his bedroom.
"Why do I always have to go to some producer's studio?" Vile asked on Apple Music. "It's on their terms. I'm grateful for it, we got a lot of stuff done. But you could say nothing's been 100% my personality since my early, more lo-fi records. I was 100% guard down, just doing my thing, man."
The album title comes from a lyric in the song.
Been gone, but now I'm-a-just way gone
Watch my moves
Vile laid down the track with his backing band, The Violators: Rob Laakso, (bass) Jesse Trbovich (electric guitar) and Kyle Spence (drums). The four musicians co-produced the track with Rob Schnapf (Elliott Smith, Beck).
Drew Saracco directed the video, which sees Vile wondering through the local woods that surround Wissahickon Creek. The singer's brother Sam and his nephew Coda also co-star.