Abba pair unveil first new songs in 15 years

Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus are set to release a Swedish folk song and a track performed by, er, the staff of a Stockholm hotel

Abba's Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus are releasing their first new material as a musical partnership in more than 15 years, including a track performed by the staff of a Swedish hotel.

The pair have announced two songs: the first is to be released on a forthcoming Benny Andersson Band album, the second as a Swedish single. "We haven't done any pop songs for a long time," Andersson said, the last being for singer Josefin Nilsson in the early 90s.

Story of a Heart, to be released on an album of the same name, is the Benny Andersson Band's first English-language release. "It's a nice prospect to be able to release music I've been doing for the last 10 years, which is folk-oriented," Andersson told BBC News. While Ulvaeus wrote Story of a Heart's Swedish lyrics, and translated them, it is vocalist Helen Sjoholm who performs the song.

Things take an amateur turn on Second Best to None, the duo's other new song. This track was inspired by festivities at a party last September, celebrating the fifth anniversary of Andersson's Hotel Rival. "I realised that at least 20 [employees] were singing in amateur choirs in Stockholm," Andersson said. "I asked them, 'Do you want me to write a song for you and we can put it on our homepage?' They said yes, so ... I asked Björn if he would like to write the lyrics, and we recorded it with the staff. We released it as a single as well. It's just a lot of fun and it's taking care of the staff at the hotel more than anything else," Andersson said, before adding, "They can sing!"

Story of a Heart will see its UK release on 6 July, two days after the Benny Andersson Band appears on London's Hampstead Heath.

Contributor

Sean Michaels

The GuardianTramp

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