ABBA reveal new music, new album, and the ABBAtars

Pop group ABBA have made a triumphant return, nearly four decades after the band were last releasing music.

Via a global live-stream the band shared two new tracks, surprised fans with the announcement that they’d recorded an entire new album, and revealed the digital version of their younger selves which will feature in a new presentation taking up residence in London.

For several years fans have been eagerly awaiting two new tracks the band had recorded, and they haven’t disappointed with both containing the Swedish band’s classic sound.

I Still Have Faith In You clocked up over 2.5 million views on YouTube. The video comprises nostalgic images and video of the four band members, before the digital representations of the band are revealed. The song is an uplifting ballad with an instantly hummable melody.

The second song Don’t Shut Me Down is the more upbeat of the two new tunes and has been shared via lyric video. It’s also scored more than 2 million views since being released early on Friday morning.

The presentation included a live interview with composers Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson who surprised fans with the news that the band have recorded an entire new album. ABBA Voyage will be released on 5th November.

The project saw the four members of the band working together for the first time on new music for the first time since the early 1980s.

“It all came rushing back in a matter of seconds,” Ulvaeus said. “It was like no time had passed.”

When the band created music back in their heyday the two writers composed tracks together, but for this project Anderson has written the music, and Ulvaeus added to lyrics.

“When I first heard the melody for I Still Have Faith In You, I knew it had to be about us.” Ulvaeus said of the band’s comeback tune.

“It’s about realising, it’s inconceivable to be where we are, no imagination could dream up that, to release a new album after 40 years, and still be the best of friends and still be enjoying each other’s company, and have total loyalty.”

The band was made up of two couples, during the band’s run both couples divorced, but continued making music together. Despite their marriages ending they have remained close friends over the decades.

Aside from their time together in the studio, the band also spent five weeks in motion-capture suits performing 22 songs that will feature in their forthcoming digital project.

For Anderson and Ulvaeus one sacrifice they had to make for creating the project was the requirement that they had to shave off their beards to effectively capture their expressions in the technology.

“I’ve had my beard for 50 years.” Anderson noted, “But in order for them to get everything right…”

The new show will take place in a purpose built arena being constructed in East London.

The track listing for the album has been revealed, alongside the two tunes available now, there will be eight more songs. When You Danced With Me, Little Things, Just a Notion, I Can’t Be That Woman, Keep An Eye On Dan, Bumblebee, No Doubt About It and Ode to Freedom. 

Benny Anderson said Little Things was a Christmas themed song, and the album was made up of a variety of different types of songs.

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