From the opening guitar riff of ‘Ocean Pearl’, or the unforgettable baritone hook of ‘I Go Blind’, if you grew up in Canada in the 90’s, 54•40 was the soundtrack to your childhood, whether you knew it or not. For many more seasoned fans, they were the post-punk icons that leapt from the early 80’s Vancouver dive-bar scene and landed confidently on the international stadium stage. With over a million records sold worldwide, a career spanning 30 years and a catalogue of hits that occupy the airways to this day, singer-songwriter-front man Neil Osborne still finds himself with a restless soul.
“Songs are stories – hit songs are classic stories – and we’ve retold these classics and hopefully enhanced their appeal…”
The search for new musical frontiers can often lead to unexpected places. In 2014 Neil and the band found themselves striking gold and beginning to develop an idea unlike anything they had ever attempted. These were the early stages of a double album that spans decades and finds the band rediscovering their roots while pushing their sound to a very new place.
The first album La Difference: A History Unplugged, available on January 8th from eOne Entertainment, is an intimate and unplugged reimagining of 5440’s greatest hits recorded as you’ve never heard them before. Featuring original arrangements of violin, guitar, banjo, mandolin and more by Daniel Lapp, History gives new context and spirit to 10 classic songs fans all know and love. Re-approaching songs from the past is something the band had never thought they would do.