ABBA fans have been left disappointed after it emerged that the planned release of the first new music from the band in 35 years has been postponed again and now looks likely to see the light of play in the second half of 2019.

Watch our interview with Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus:

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The mega-selling group first announced in April of last year that they were back in studio recording for the first time since their split in 1983, in preparation for a tour in which their music will be performed by virtual reality avatars or "ABBA-tars".

"It was like time had stood still and we had only been away on a short holiday," the band said in a statement. "An extremely joyful experience!"

Abba in action 

Björn Ulvaeus, Agnetha Fältskog, Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Benny Andersson recorded two new songs, one of which was due to air in a TV special in December 2018, but the release was pushed back initially to early 2019, with the group’s Benny Andersson saying: "I think we are talking about the beginning of next year now."

Now a representative for the group has told showbiz bible Variety there will be "no release before the summer... Hopefully this fall."

Andersson has recently hinted at legal troubles holding up the release, saying in an interview: "We are still trying to establish the agreement that needs to be done to be able to continue."

He added: "I am very proud of both songs. One is like a pop song from the 70s. The other one is kind of timeless."

He has also said there was the possibility of the group reconvening to record a third song this year.

Dates for the avatar tour have yet be announced. Last summer the second ABBA-inspired movie Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again was a massive global hit.