Off Message

Off Message
Abba in 1979, at the height of their success: ‘We thought we looked good that year’ Pic: Getty

As Abba prepare to wave their über-hot Abbatar hologram selves (circa 1979) off on tour, what does it say about our need for a sense of community in an increasingly individualised world that old age, physical demise – even death – won’t stop the music?

For all that modern technology has given us minor miracles – there’s no doubt that we live in an age in which opportunity is greater than ever – we’re often very slow to admit to the problems it has also caused us. The loneliness, the tensions that come with always-on, phone-related anxiety, and the loss of community that exists with us no longer listening to the same radio shows and reading the same books, but instead listening to a million different bands on Spotify, reading self-published fiction that other people haven’t, and tuning into radio shows and podcasts from across the world. All that variety is great, exciting and wonderful – but it’s also a problem, because we’re locked into our own highly individualised worlds.

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