In Depth

Abba return after 35 years with two new songs

Swedish four-piece announce on Instagram two releases that will form part of their ‘avatar tour project’

Swedish pop group Abba have announced the recording of their first new music since 1982.

The legendary Swedish quartet said the new songs were an “unexpected consequence” of their recent decision to put together a “virtual reality” tour.

“We all four felt that, after some 35 years, it could be fun to join forces again and go into the recording studio,” Abba wrote on their official Instagram page. “So we did. And it was like time had stood still and that we only had been away on a short holiday. An extremely joyful experience!”

The band released the name of one of the new songs “I Still Have Faith In You,” which they will premiere in a joint NBC/BBC TV special in December.

In 2016, the group, comprised of Agnetha Faltskog, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, and Anni-Frid (Frida) Lyngstad, “performed together for the first time in more than 30 years at a private event in downtown Stockholm, Sweden” says Time magazine.

They split in 1982 and “were reported to have turned down a $1 billion offer to reform in 2000” adds The Daily Telegraph.

Abba's spokesperson Gorel Hanser described the new songs, saying: “The sound will be familiar, but also modern.”

The studio sessions were “like old times”, she told Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet. “Easy as anything. It didn't feel weird that they hadn't been in the studio together for 35 years.”

But Hanser said the group would not perform live, other than as holograms in the forthcoming Abba Avatar tour.

“No, you can not expect them to join forces on stage again,” she said. “They will not do that.”

The band’s Björn Ulvaeus “revealed details of the band’s avatar project in Brussels earlier this week”, says The Guardian.

The showpiece is the two-hour TV show, which will see the band perform as computer-generated avatars.

Ulvaeus said that the band had been digitally scanned and “de-aged” to look like they did in 1979, when the band performed their third and final tour.

The digital recreations are then set to tour the world from next year.

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