Swedish supergroup ABBA have released their ninth and final studio album, their first in 40 years, in one of pop culture’s most anticipated comebacks.
The Swedish four-piece recorded the 10 track album, Voyage, alongside an immersive digital concert stage show in a custom-built arena in London. The concert will feature digital avatars of band members Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Agnetha Fältskog alongside a 10 piece band.
— ABBA (@ABBA) November 4, 2021
Fältskog admitted to The West Australian, she had no idea what to expect when the band got back in the studio.
“But Benny’s recording studio is such a friendly and safe environment, and before I knew it I was really enjoying myself,” she said.
“I can hardly believe that finally, the moment has come to share this with the world.”
The digital concert will feature bizarre de-aged avatars of the four-piece and will take place in the purpose-built ABBA Arena at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London from May 27th, 2022.
The digital avatars of the band members have been created after months of motion-capture and performance techniques by and an 850-strong team from Industrial Light & Magic.
Ulvaeus told A Current Affair, they wanted to give the audience “an experience that nobody has ever had in music” with the upcoming digital concert.
“That’s the vision we have,” he said.
“You know to sit in the audience on opening night and see this thing, see ourselves. It’s going to be weird and wonderful.
“It will be us, in the way that we really have infused ourselves in these avatars with movement, with facials expressions, with the voices, all of that stuff makes it, it’s us.”
Although excitement has grown for the group’s reunion, it’s a bitter-sweet moment for fans as Andersson made clear the band will be retiring following the album’s release and concert.
“This is it, it’s got to be, you know,” he said.
Considered one of the greatest musical groups of all time, ABBA became one of the most successful acts in the history of popular music, topping the charts worldwide from 1974 to 1983. They have achieved 48 hit singles. In 2015, their song “Dancing Queen” was inducted into the Recording Academy’s Grammy Hall of Fame.