Kansas announce new album The Absence Of Presence

Kansas (Image credit: Emily Butler Photography)

Kansas have announced that they’ll release their 16th studio album this summer.

The follow-up to 2016’s The Prelude Implicit is titled The Absence Of Presence and it’ll launch on June 26.

Drummer and founding Kansas member Phil Ehart tells Billboard: “This sounds like Kansas. Guitarist Zak Rizvi wrote the majority of The Prelude Implicit and this album, and now having keyboardist Tom Brislin add a couple of his songs and his keyboard prowess really pushes the band even more toward that original sound, which is not easy to do by any means. 

“You've got to have the material. You've got to have the singer to sing it. You've got to have lyrics that are Kansas-type lyrics. 

“These guys get it, and the other four of us who have been here for 20, 40, 50 years – we're just sitting here grinning, going 'This is great!'"

Ehart goes on to say that the lyrics to the title track, which were written by Brislin from a title suggestion from the drummer, “can mean a couple of different things.”

Ehart continues: “But what sticks out is when we're at an airport, there's a lot of people there but everybody is staring at their phone or looking at their computer or their iPad or reading a paper or whatever. 

“Someone's sitting across from you looking up, and you can tell they're not engaged at all. People are there, but they're not really there. They're present, but there's an absence of presence."

The first single from the album will be announced in early April, while a full tracklist will be made available in due course. Check out the cover art below.

Kansas are currently on the road across the US on their Point Of Know Return Anniversary Tour, while the summer months will see them hook up with Foreigner and Europe for a run of North American dates.

Kansas have also revealed a run of Point Of Know Return anniversary shows for Europe, kicking off at the London Palladium on October 18 and wrapping up at Amsterdam’s Holland Carre Theatre on November 10.

Kansas 2020 European tour dates
Oct 18: London Palladium, UK
Oct 20: Frankfurt Jahrhunderthalle, Germany
Oct 21: Hamburg Docks, Germany
Oct 23: Tampere Tamperetalo, Finland
Oct 24: Helsinki Culture House, Finland
Oct 26: Stockholm Cirkus, Sweden
Oct 27: Oslo Sentrum Scene, Norway
Oct 29: Berlin Tempodrom, Germany
Oct 31: Brussels Cirque Royale, Belgium
Nov 03: Munich Circus Krone, Germany
Nov 05: Heilbronn Harmonie, German
Nov 09: Bochum RuhrCongress, Germany
Nov 10: Amsterdam Carre Theatre, Netherlands

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.