Not all heroes wear capes, some wear sparkly bell bottoms. ABBA has announced their first studio album in 40 years–and according to fans, they might’ve just saved 2021.
The enduringly popular Swedish quartet announced Thursday that “Voyage” their first studio album since the 1982 single “Under Attack,” will be released worldwide Nov. 5.
In May, the “ABBA Voyage” concert experience will kick off in London, with bandmates Agnetha Fältskog, Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus performing virtually via avatars with a live 10-piece orchestra.
We’ve also been given a taste of what 21st-century ABBA sounds like with two brand new tracks, “I Still Have Faith in You” and “Don’t Shut Me Down,” which were recorded by the group at Andersson’s Riksmixningsverket studio in Stockholm. Listen to them here.
According to the announcement, the digital versions of ABBA have been 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,” the company founded by George Lucas.
“ABBA Voyage” will open on May 27 the ABBA Arena, a state-of-the-art 3,000 capacity arena located at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London. Pre-registration for tickets opens at 6 p.m. Thursday (Sept. 2) on abbavoyage.com with tickets on general sale from Sept. 7.
Now in their 70s, the core four have released several solo projects since the band’s dissolution in the 1980s but have teased new music for years.
ABBA addressed the “weird and wonderful” new project and promised a “new journey” to the legions of fans they’ve kept waiting in the statement.
“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. 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!”
“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.”
The group’s joyful pop hits have charmed a new generation through the popularity of the “Mamma Mia” movies as well as through TikTok, where their tracks regularly go viral.
Check out some of the best fan reactions to ABBA’s return here.