The envoy slipped from the inky shadows on this dark and stormy night, reached beneath the lapel of his trenchcoat and retrieved the thumbdrive. He said, “Guard this with your life.”

I asked, “What is it?”

Super Rocket X-1,” he replied. “The rest is on a need-to-know basis and you don’t need to know. If you knew, I’d have to kill you, capisce?”

Okay, so maybe some of the (all of the) details here are remembered differently from how it actually went down. Paul Melancon indicated that what he did was contact me on Twitter, informing me that his next solo record is on the imminent horizon. With that, he gave me a download featuring a new song, “Super Rocket X-1,” and a plethora of cover song goodness. You can get the EP with Paul and his band The New Insecurities here: https://paulmelancon.bandcamp.com/album/super-rocket-x-1-ep

X1CoverArriving to the party about a decade late, I hailed Melancon’s album from 2002, Camera Obscura, as one of the best in the year that I discovered. The cynical will sniff and say that is a knock against the actual, germane releases around 2012, but I proudly stand by the claim. Melancon’s classic rock and pop sensibilities make him a man out of time, with his sympathies leaning toward Badfinger, Big Star, and Matthew Sweet. And as evidenced by the Super Rocket X-1 EP, he pulls from across a fairly broad spectrum of influences. Covered here with equal parts faithfulness and playfulness are Pink Floyd’s “Time”, Radiohead’s “Airbag”, and David Bowie’s “Rock ‘n Roll Suicide”. (Ed. note: The cover was recorded well before Bowie’s passing.)

Please note: Super Rocket X-1 is just the opening salvo. The title track will not be on Paul’s new album, due to arrive later this year, so it would behoove you to grab the EP from Bandcamp now while it is still at the paltry sum of $1.99. (Support independent artists already, willya?)

You can find out more about Paul Melancon and the New Insecurities at his website: http://www.paulmelancon.com