ABBA’s much-anticipated return has finally been announced, 40 years after the release of their last studio album, 1981’s The Visitors. Previously teased by the Swedish pop quartet’s Benny Andersson in 2020, the reunion will see them release a brand new album, Voyage, set to arrive on November 5.
Two songs from the upcoming record — a ballad titled “I Still Have Faith In You”, and the more lively “Don’t Shut Me Down” — make their debut alongside the announcement (listen below) with a Christmas song also said to feature on the tracklist.
The new material is also set to feature in a “revolutionary” series of ABBA concerts, which will be held in the purpose-built ABBA Arena at London’s Olympic Park, beginning May 27, 2022. The shows will feature the group’s four members — Andersson, Agnetha Fältskog, Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Björn Ulvaeus — as digital avatars (not holograms) alongside a 10-piece live band. Tickets will go on sale from September 7.
“We simply call it Voyage and we’re truly sailing in uncharted waters,” say the pop icons in a statement on the new project. “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.”
An “ABBAtars” tour, featuring new material and motion-capture technology, was first announced back in 2017, decades after their split in 1983, but has been delayed several times.
“They made us grimace in front of cameras. They painted dots on our faces, they measured our heads,” Ulvaeus told The Times in an interview on developing the tour back in April. “We never were (keen to tour), really,” he adds. “We had a 10-year career and out of that, we may have toured six months.”
Listen to ABBA’s new songs, “I Still Have Faith In You” and “Don’t Shut Me Down”, below. Look back at Dazed’s exploration of the dark side of the group’s euphoric pop here.