ABBA is returning to the music scene after nearly 40 years out of the spotlight.
The Swedish pop group, composed of Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad, is releasing a new studio album titled Voyage via Universal Music Group’s Capitol label. Though the complete album won’t drop worldwide until November 5th, two tracks from the new compilation of songs ― I Still Have Faith in You and Don’t Shut Me Down ― are now available to stream online on YouTube, Spotify, and Apple Music.
Though ABBA members, now all in their 70s, have released several solo projects during their nearly four decades of hiatus, the abovementioned songs are the first new material from the group since the release of their Under Attack single back in December of 1982. Recorded by the quartet at Andersson’s Riksmixningsverket studio in Stockholm, I Still Have Faith in You and Don’t Shut Me Down will be both featured in the group’s upcoming concert called ABBA Voyage.
“It’s been a while since we made music together. Almost 40 years, actually. We took a break in the spring of 1982 and now we’ve decided it’s time to end it,” the group said in a lengthy statement. “They say it’s foolhardy to wait more than 40 years between albums, so we’ve recorded a follow-up to [1981’s] The Visitors. To tell the truth, the main inspiration to record again comes from our involvement in creating the strangest and most spectacular concert you could ever dream of. We’re going to be able to sit back in an audience and watch our digital selves perform our songs on a stage in a custom-built arena in London next spring. Weird and wonderful!”
The group continued: “To all of you who patiently have followed us in some way or another these past decades: Thank you for waiting — it’s time for a new journey to begin. “We simply call it Voyage and we’re truly sailing in uncharted waters. With the help of our younger selves, we travel into the future. It’s not easy to explain but then it hasn’t been done before.”
In ABBA Voyage, Fältskog, Ulvaeus, Andersson, Lyngstad will be performing digitally via avatars with a live 10-piece band. Digital versions of the group were created “following weeks and months of motion-capture and performance techniques with the four band members and an 850-strong team from Industrial Light & Magic,” a motion picture visual effects company founded by George Lucas.
ABBA Voyage is opening on May 27th, 2022 at the ABBA Arena, a state-of-the-art 3,000 capacity arena located at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London. Pre-registration for tickets has started at 6 p.m. today, September 2nd, on abbavoyage.com with tickets on general sale from September 7th.