See the Striking Music Video for a Haunting Cover of 'In the Year 2525'

Groove Guild and Sarofsky update an old No. 1 hit

If you think 2020 is challenging for humanity, wait another 500 years ... or 10,000 for that matter.

Music house Groove Guild and design-driven production company Sarofsky have unveiled a remarkable project that features a new cover of the 1969 Billboard chart-topping hit "In the Year 2525," with a mesmerizing music video to go with it.

The vocalist Jean Rohe sings the haunting new version of the song, which was originally recorded in 1969 by the American pop-rock duo Zager and Evans. The song, originally inspired by the moon landing, is a frightening meditation on the consequences of rapid technological change—a subject that takes on added urgency 50 years later, as climate change ravages the Earth.

But the end of the video hints at a measure of hope for the planet (whether or not we humans are still around).

The project was originally intended to be a marquee showpiece at the Future Innovation Technology and Creativity (FITC) conference in Toronto earlier this year, but those plans were canceled due to Covid. So, Groove Guild and Sarofsky repurposed the piece into a full-length music video.

"We're artists who love collaborating with other artists," says Paul Riggio, creative director/partner at Groove Guild. "When Erin [Sarofsky] came to us with this powerful piece, it was a unanimous yes from our team. The song is perfect for the dystopian future telling of the visuals, but we felt having a woman's voice as the lead would better represent Erin's vision. I've known Jean since I did my first film score back in 2002, and I knew she would be perfect for this modernized retro version of the arrangement. As a music gear addict, this project also turned out to be a great excuse to buy some more retro microphones so we could nail the right drum sound. For the mix, we pulled in an engineer who uses all analog equipment and prints everything to tape. It's a powerful performance, awesome arrangement, and record worthy mix. The film serves the music just as much as the music serves the film, which is my favorite outcome with these kinds of collaborations.

"Creating a short film set to the song 'In the Year 2525' allowed us to conceptualize, visualize and produce a world that is stunningly beautiful and very unique in both look and tone," says Erin Sarofsky, executive creative director and owner at Sarofsky. "Projects like this are a rare opportunity for any visual artist or musician, so for the team at Sarofsky this was an epic treat. It also allowed us to collaborate very closely with the talented team at Groove Guild. While we have worked together many times in the past, this project had a very special vibe. Typically we develop the visuals first and then sound follows, but here we worked on the sound first, and that informed every visual creative decision we made."

"We were all so disappointed when the FITC conference was canceled due to Covid. So much love and care went into this film," says Al Risi, music supervisor/partner at Groove Guild. "We had to find a way to give it new life and making it into a full-length music video seemed like a great vehicle to accomplish that goal."

Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd was editor in chief of the Clio Awards and editor of Muse by Clio from 2018 to 2023.

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