Pop group Abba have returned to the studio to record their first new music since the 1980s.

The Swedish quartet said the new material was an “Unexpected consequence” of their recent decision to put together a “Virtual reality” tour.

No release date has been set for the new songs – but one of them, titled I Still Have Faith In You, will be performed in December on a TV special broadcast by the BBC and NBC. Abba’s spokesperson Gorel Hanser told the BBC the atmosp in the studio was “Magic”.

News of the new material comes in a bumper year for Abba fans.

Speaking to BBC News, Rod Stephen, founder of Abba tribute act Bjorn Again, described the new material as “a whole new beginning”.

“I heard about Abba releasing new songs and I was instantly, like everyone else in the Abba community, really excited to know what the songs were and how they’re going to sound. Will it have that 1970s sound or will it be up to date?”.

“It’s brilliant really, because we love Abba’s music to death. I just hope they’re great songs, I hope they’re equivalent to Dancing Queen or Mamma Mia.”.

Speaking to the BBC’s Adam Fleming last week, Ulvaeus had hinted that t could be new material.

What attracted me personally to this is of course I’m always curious, scientifically-curious and this is new technology and we are pioneers.