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.


Sean Michaels

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Abba reunite for Voyage, first new album in 40 years
Swedish hitmakers to release album of brand new material in November, and digital avatars will appear in London concert residency in 2022

Ben Beaumont-Thomas and Mark Brown

02, Sep, 2021 @5:00 PM

Article image
Abba's Benny announces live comeback … on a bandstand
The founder of Sweden's most successful pop group is to play an outdoor show on Hampstead Heath. Next, Bob Dylan goes busking on Clapham Common

Rosie Swash

27, Apr, 2009 @3:58 PM

Article image
Abba announce first new songs for 35 years
Swedish four-piece take to Instagram to announce two releases that will form part of an ‘avatar tour project’

Alex Needham

27, Apr, 2018 @2:09 PM

Mamma mia! Abba take a chance on room service
Track performed by hotel staff is on first record released in over a decade by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus

Ben Quinn

08, May, 2009 @11:39 PM

Abba museum in Stockholm: 'overwhelmed by satin and sequins' - video review

Lifelong fan Alexis Petridis visits the Abba museum as it opens to the public in Stockholm

Presented by Alexis Petridis and produced by Cameron Robertson

08, May, 2013 @9:21 AM

Article image
Sweden thanks Abba for the music with an all-singing, all-dancing museum
Group members back new interactive project, donating costumes and 70s memorabilia. Richard Orange reports

Richard Orange in Stockholm

29, Dec, 2012 @11:34 PM

Article image
Abba on drugs, Eminem and why writing great pop is a job for young people

In 1974 Abba won the Eurovision Song Contest. Forty years on, they are one of the best-loved and most respected bands in pop history. Björn Ulvaeus and Frida Lyngstad speak to Tim Jonze about sadness, jealousy and why they don't rule out recording together again

Tim Jonze

10, Apr, 2014 @6:00 PM

Abba museum in Stockholm opens – in pictures

Catchy tunes, outlandish costumes and shimmering boots feature in a new museum dedicated to the band

06, May, 2013 @11:11 PM

Abba: from Eurovision to the split – in pictures
It is 40 years since Swedish pop pioneers Abba won the the Eurovision Song Contest. Abba: The Official Photo Book gathers together 600 photographs of the band – from their first taste of fame to their last recording sessions

Sarah Gilbert

10, Apr, 2014 @6:00 PM

Article image
New Abba music postponed again, to 'second half of 2019'
A representative for the group says there will be ‘no release before the summer’ of their first new music in 35 years

Ben Beaumont-Thomas

22, Jan, 2019 @9:55 AM