The cover of Juniordeer’s I Just Want To Sleep is the perfect analog to an album of hazy atmospherics and melancholic passages swirling with distorted melodies. The whole album sounds like the recollections of someone looking out onto a winter landscape from a place of more relative physical comfort if haunted by memories and the realities of a likely future. At times, as with “8 Years Since My Last Confession,” the album is reminiscent of a Black Marble album but rendered in all electronic sounds and rapid electronic percussion tracking intense waves of emotion. “The Outer Fire” begins like a sequence in a fast-paced video game where quick reflexes are needed to get through a maze of perils, obstacles and enemies – a parallel to the number of challenges and dramatic political and social dramas that seemed to bombard us all in America over the last half decade. Longer if you’ve not had the luxury of not being keenly aware of being directly affected by them. Each song provides the tonal equivalent of a video game zone one must get through in order to attain the goal suggested by the title of the album—that title speaking to a need for peace and stability in a safe place after having to dodge crises and hardships one after the other with no end in sight. Weaving together an almost 8-bit music aesthetic with tastefully crafted trap beats and moody synths, Juniordeer has captured a slice of the zeitgeist of recent years of tension and a need for reprieve because humans weren’t really designed for juggling so many pressures for their entire lives. “Breakdown Bay” and the sounds of slowly churning waters in the distance is like the final boss of experiences to navigate to reach the end with the name of a place hinting at the point where many give up and succumb to despair. With the concluding track “Sleep,” Juniordeer reminds us that we can get through a time of troubles if we can endure and persevere and not hold up one goal as the end of all goals. Listen to I Just Want To Sleep on Bandcamp and follow Juniordeer at the links provided. With any luck he’ll be able to perform some of this music live in 2022.