The beloved, platinum-selling American pop-rock band Pablo Cruise have announced that their new single, “Breathe,” will be released on Friday, September 4. A gloriously upbeat and irresistibly hooky feel-good anthem custom-made for our troubled times, “Breathe” represents the first piece of new music the group has recorded since 1983 and features the stellar lead vocals of Robbie Wyckoff.
“Our fans ask us all the time, ‘When are you guys going to give us some new music?’” says keyboardist, singer and founding member Cory Lerios. “We broke up for a time, but since we got back together in 2005 our focus has been primarily on live shows. Fans pack our concerts. There’s so much joy and excitement at Pablo’s live shows that we haven’t prioritized writing new music. So this song, I think, signals a change.”
Like every other band in the world, Pablo Cruise were forced to either cancel or postpone their concerts once the COVID-19 pandemic hit. As Lerios explains, the group decided to turn the unplanned downtime to their advantage. “We realized that this might be the perfect time to finally write something new. In 2021, we look forward to hitting the road again and releasing more new music.”
Lerios, who along with guitarist and co-founder David Jenkins wrote some of the band’s biggest hits like “Whatcha Gonna Do?” and “Love Will Find a Way,” got together with Pablo Cruise vocalist Robbie Wyckoff and bassist Larry Antonino to compose a song that would speak to what they saw as a shared global attitude.
“People are stressed-out, cooped up and tired. They need something to lift them up,” Lerios says. “Pablo Cruise has always been about positive, affirmative lyrics, and ‘Breathe’ continues that tradition. Everybody from therapists to the Dali Lama will tell you that we just need to breathe during hard times. Everybody just wants a break.”
With Lerios serving as producer, the band – including their latest and greatest member, drummer Sergio Gonzalez (formerly with J. Lo) – recorded their parts mostly remotely, and the resulting track is a one-listen winner, driven by percolating percussion, an effervescent Latin-tinged bass groove, sparkling keyboard lines and a spunky guitar solo by Jenkins that combine to make sitting still an impossibility. Singer Wyckoff rises to the occasion, cheerfully urging listeners to “lift it up, take it higher/ lift it up, make it brighter.” Overall, the impact is magical.
“If we were feeling any pressure about recording something new, that went away when we listened back to what we’d done,” says Lerios. “Everybody stepped up, and the end result conveys a collective message we stand by. It’s right in the Pablo Cruise wheelhouse.”
In addition to his work with Pablo Cruise, Lerios has also established himself as an in-demand film and TV composer (with credits that include Baywatch, Diagnosis: Murder and Disney’s Kim Possible, among others). He sends a shout-out to his film composer friend Grant Geissman (Two and a Half Men), who contributed additional guitars on “Breathe”: “Grant occasionally sits in with Pablo Cruise when we’re performing on the West Coast. Everyone in the band loves his energy.”