Loitering Heroes

Loitering Heroes


Loitering Heroes blends genres in writing pop music with interesting structures, rhythms and thoughtful lyrics. In forming the sonic pallette of each song the band draws from jazz, world music, folk, punk, country, even reaching out into experimental soundscapes for inspiration.


A Brief History of Loitering Heroes

Starting as solo project of Kevin Parnell in late 2004, Loitering Heroes, quickly became a quartet for live performances. Double bass player Michael Herring and jazz guitarist Don Scott backed Kevin up on a few shows and quickly all three found a common inspiration. Classically trained flautist Leah Hunter was then asked to join the band to bring a unique element to the new songs. As a quartet, Loitering Heroes began playing live around Toronto and developing new material based on Kevin’s original solo folk-based work, but now incorporating jazz and world elements.

In early 2006, drummer Brandon Valdivia was asked to join the band, bringing with him his background in improvisational music, jazz training and experience in touring with the indie rock band Picastro. Now a full band with a pack of genre jumping songs, Loitering Heroes set out to produce their first LP. Self-produced in their rehearsal space, bassist Michael Herring stepped up to become the recording engineer, teaching himself as the work progressed. Slowly and meticulously the first LP “Beast Alert!” was finished in late 2006, and mastered by local Toronto musician Sandro Perri.

Self-released in the fall of 2007, “Beast Alert!” found much radio play across the country and garnered key reviews, calling the songs “compelling and mystifying”, “imaginative unhinged spirited recklessness”, “rhythmic waves that incite instrumental diversity”, and comparing the band to the now-defunct Jon-Rae and The River and Rock Plaza Central. In February 2008, “Beast Alert!” was picked to be the feature record on CBC Radio 2 program The Signal, where tracks from the LP were played and discussed by the host.

2007/2008 saw a lineup change in the band as they looked to explore new directions. Flautist Leah Hunter took the less prominent role of a session musician, and drummer Brandon Valdivia left the group due to commitments with other projects. The band quickly asked drummer Nico Dann to join, who Michael and Don had been working with in a newly formed jazz quartet. Bringing an entirely different approach to drumming and song structure and training in jazz and classical music, Nico helped set the band onto new paths and inspired sessions of songwriting, in which the basic structure of the songs are suggested by bandleader Kevin Parnell, but then reworked and reimagined by the entire quartet, creating a new and exciting sonic palette for Loitering Heroes.

With a new set of diverse material and live shows lined up, Loitering Heroes is set to go into the studio with a fresh and clear artistic vision to record their second LP.


We've Devised New Pagan Rituals

Written By: Kevin Parnell

We’ve devised new pagan rituals
To gather up the victuals
With cut off hands
Because magic has left this land

The prophets seek the peak
Of the land’s last leak
And if they’re ocean bound
Then these city spells
Just might turn into towns

These lungs are full
They now breathe slow
(We’ll set sail in little paper boats)

We need more hearts to add to the chars
And the itty bitty brains lay in bedlam where
We’re all sitting eezeepeezee in an easy chair

But the monsters are due on Maple St. tonight
With their anxious appetites and shifty eyes
It comes as no surprise

And they’re tearing at the wind
And scratching at the sun
And I’m out of breath
I can’t run

City Spells

Written By: Kevin Parnell

I’m so sick to death of these incantations always going wrong
I burned down the house again
These expenses I expend
And pen a paper trail that’s far too long

Something seems fishy in this suspicious city
The sun it never ever goes down
And eyes and ears and lips and nose
And tongue and teeth and knees and toes
We cast our spells to grow out of this town

It’s a quarter moon crisis
No time for ices
No time for cakes
No time for tea
No time to walk along the beach
Just time for headlines and scenes of scenery

These enchantments they don’t work like charms
And I think to myself should we panic? Is there cause for alarm?
All our mumbling and muttering retreats
And we shuffle our feet further down these streets
Just quietly jingling our keys

Holes In The Story

Written By: Kevin Parnell

I’ve heard tell of holes in the story
Yeah there’s holes in the story
As big as coelacanths and werewolves in the moonlight
Yeah there’s werewolves in the moonlight

And I was told that there’d be ramifications
Yeah there’d be ramifications
Such as curses and hexes and omens of ill fortune
Yeah there’s omens of ill fortune

And it seems that I have worn
The cat’s pajamas for too long
Make no mistake
They’ve shrunk in size
I’ve recognized
They’re not as comfortable

And I’ve heard all those rumours
All those rumours, lies and fibs
About the rituals of witches and billy-goats and bridges
Yeah there’s billy-goats building bridges

And I know all those tall tales
All those tall tales are getting taller
All those yarns are spinning further
All those yarns are spinning farther

And you know you got to take it with a grain of salt
You got to take it with a pinch of salt
You got to take it with some salt


"Apocalyptic Monologue" 09/10 forthcoming LP
1. Hit The Deck!
2. Race To The Top
3. Pins & Needles
4. Constellations
5. Ghosts On The TV/Baby Steps
6. Homesick Astronaut
7. Struck By Lightning
8. Water Water Everywhere
9. Bones
10. Hand-Me-Down
11. Holes In The Story (Retcon Revisionist)
12. Scenic Lookout
13. Trumpets & Drums

"Beast Alert!" 2007, independent LP release
1. We've Devised New Pagan Rituals
2. Ballad of the Bandaged Champions
3. Holes In The Story
4. City Spells
5. Moths In The Cupboard
6. One Fell Swoop
7. X Marks The Spot
8. Sailor's Delight (Jamboree On The Seven Seas)
9. Go Away Ghost Ship!
10. Apology Pending
11. Superhero's Lament
12. Feeling Buried Under a Pile of Leaves

Set List

Current Typical Set List

Hit The Deck!
Race To The Top
Pins & Needles
Scenic Lookout
Ghosts On The TV
Holes In The Story
Homesick Astronaut
City Spells
We've Devised New Pagan Rituals

Approximately 40 minutes in length.