Directed by Jesse Andrew Clark, the video “deals with both the oppressive and emotional struggles of high school life as well as the nostalgic charm of trophies, gym class, and science class,” tells lead vocalist and guitar player Neal Wright (Wave Collector), who appears alongside keyboard player and backup vocalist Ayal Alves (Kelli Schaefer, Siren and the Sea), and drummer Will Hattman (Months, Down Gown).
Also making appearances in the video are all the visually poignant details of attending school in the ’80s—the chalkboard traced with penmanship lines, the sentimental grind of the pencil sharpener, jamming books into an overflowing locker, writing documents to a floppy disc drive, the IBM Standard Issue Clock ticking away endless hours, the world globe, and the school dance.
“‘School Spirit’ is inspired largely by my experience of going through the school system and being told that I wasn't really smart and that was just kind of my lot in life,” Wright explains. “It was only later that I realized that the teaching styles of many of the teachers just didn't work for me, but that I could excel with the right kind of education.”
The band's namesake, Fake Fireplace, is one that didn't make the cut when Wright's previous band, Burner Courage, was choosing a name—but it was one of his favorites and so it stuck around. Songs that didn't really fit sonically with other endeavors began to stack up under the name, and what started as a solo recording project became a trio of friends from previous projects recording this, their first self-release, under the name.
Borrowed Problems is a fitting title for this collection of songs, “because ultimately, all of these problems we have are inherited from someone or somewhere,” Wright says. “Our parents, our experiences, our teachers, our relationships. It can feel like those closest to us are saying, 'Hey, can you hold onto this for a second?' and leave you there holding onto some new baggage that needs to be dealt with."
Borrowed Problems was recorded and mixed with Skyler Norwood at Miracle Lake Studios (Blind Pilot, Rare Monk, Horse Feathers)—who is also a member of Team Evil and Point Juncture, WA—and mastered by Gus Elg at Sky Onion Mastering Studio.