Embark on a nostalgic journey with Cheapskate’s ‘Stumbling’: Through Jazz lounges and soulful stories

"I wanted to create a laid-back, late-night atmosphere and imply the story I pictured in my head"
16 December 2023

Hailing from Liverpool and now making waves in London, solo multi-instrumentalist Cheapskate, also known as MJ Jackson, has just dropped his latest LP, Stumbling. With a penchant for vintage production, Cheapskate effortlessly weaves elements of jazz, soul, and laid-back lounge into a melodic brand of jazz-pop that transcends time.

The 11-track offering, Stumbling, is a testament to Cheapskate’s unique approach to music-making. Drawing inspiration from the grainy late-night films of the 1970s, the album paints a vivid picture of smokey jazz lounges and whisky-sipping characters. Each track loosely follows the story of a character awakening alone in an apartment, prompting reflections on life choices. The emotional journey portrayed in the LP mirrors the process of finding wisdom after the fact, yet ultimately remaining true to oneself.

The lead single, Are You Lonely Tonight, captures the essence of Stumbling. Inspired by a scene in the original 1960s Ocean’s 11 film where Dean Martin croons in a sidebar, the track showcases Cheapskate’s mastery of vintage instruments. With simple bass grooves, laidback guitar lines, and hypnotic drum beats providing a solid foundation, the song allows space for piano flares (Fender Rhodes), brass interludes, and Cheapskate’s contemplative vocal performance.

In a recent statement, Cheapskate shared his vision for Stumbling: “I wanted to create a laid-back, late-night atmosphere and imply the story I pictured in my head. Whether anyone pictures that story is not important. I just want people to hear great music to put their feet up to.”

Originally from Liverpool, Cheapskate draws inspiration from the hard-bop melodies of Lee Morgan, the laconic storytelling of Georgie Fame, and the upbeat rhythms of Motown. Now based in London, he crafts his signature sound in his home studio.

With Stumbling, Cheapskate invites music lovers to step into a bygone era, where jazz and soul intertwine with modern storytelling. His ability to evoke emotions through vintage sounds and eccentric narratives makes this LP a must-listen for those seeking a sonic journey into the heart of Cheapskate’s unique musical universe.