ABBA has reunited in the studio for its first new songs in over 35 years, according to The Independent. Last week we reported the members of ABBA -- Agnetha Faltskog, Anni-Frid Lyngstad,Bjorn Ulvaeus, and Benny Andersson -- had agreed to let computerized versions of themselves appear on a televised tribute later this year. Bjorn Ulvaeus told AFP: "It's a kind of ABBA tribute show, but the centerpiece. . . will be something I call 'Abbatars.' It is digital versions of ABBA, from 1979. It's the first time it's ever been done. . . With videos and lip-synching, they'll create digital copies of us." According to Japan Today, "In order to create the avatars, 'techno artists' from Silicon Valley measured the heads of the four ABBA members and photographed them from all angles."
The band has since issued a statement touching upon the digital recreations, the new songs, and long-awaited reunion:
"The decision to go ahead with the exciting ABBA avatar tour project had an unexpected consequence. We all four felt that, after some 35 years, it could be fun to join forces again and go into the recording studio. So we did. And it was like time had stood still and that we had only been away on a short holiday. An extremely joyful experience! It resulted in two new songs and one of them 'I Still Have Faith In You' will be performed by our digital selves in a TV special produced by NBC and the BBC aimed for broadcasting in December. We may have come of age, but the song is new. And it feels good. Agnetha, Benny, Bjorn, Anni-Frid - Stockholm, Sweden, 27 April 2018.”
Benny Andersson admits that over 35 years after calling it quits, he's still amazed at the hold ABBA has over its international fan-base: "I think the major thing is that if you're a band and you have a record out and it becomes a hit and you have a next one -- and you do that for nine consecutive years and you have one-or-two major hits around the world -- it's pretty unavoidable to stir up some dust, isn't it? I think that's one of the reasons -- and why it is I don't know. I don't know why. But I'm very grateful that this is the case, y'know?"
Ironically, the sequel to "Mamma Mia" with Meryl Streep opens in July.