Kraków Live Festival 2017

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We’ll Fly Away

On 18 and 19 August, we’ll be soaring towards the stars during this year’s Kraków Live Festival at the Polish Aviation Museum, with guests including Ellie Goulding, Lana Del Rey, alt-J, Wiz Khalifa, Chet Faker, Travis Scott and Birdy.

Sensuous countenance

Her synth-pop single Lights, released in 2010, marked the beginning of her worldwide career. Ellie Goulding’s debut album brings together ballads with piano accompaniment and electronic tracks seasoned with indie sounds. But it wasn’t the instrumental layer which earned the album its acclaim, but rather the young artist’s voice: tremulous, conveying a childlike wonder and with a slightly hoarse timbre. The British artist’s growing popularity has earned her collaborations with other musicians: she became the leading vocalist on the electronic dance scene, featuring on tracks by Skrillex, Calvin Harris and Zedd. Her second album Halcyon and its leading single Burn brought Ellie new fans from across the pond. She became a global superstar in 2015 following the huge success of her romantic ballad Love Me Like You Do featured on the soundtracks from Fifty Shades of Grey. The song, also featured on her third album Delirium, topped the UK Top 40 for four weeks and became an international hit. It has been viewed over one and a half billion times on YouTube! Ellie took a bit of time off at the end of her tour promoting Delirium, although she’s clearly been missing the stage and she’s about to start playing more gigs. She will make the entire Kraków dance!

Retrospective

She reminds me of taste of liquorice from my childhood: sweet yet not so sweet. We all enjoy a bit of nostalgia and melancholy, but she has turned them into an artform. Lana Del Rey comes to Kraków with her latest, fifth album Lust for Life. The material is inspired by music of the 1950s and 1960s and by works of Joan Baez, with the hour-long album comprising 16 tracks. We’ve already heard the promotional single Love, the titular Lust for Life feat. The Weeknd, and Coachella – Woodstock in My Mind. It’s beautifully packaged retro-pop, brought up to date with samples. The video to Love is approaching 100 million views on YouTube – and the campaign announced by her Polish fan club is certainly helping! The fans are planning to attend the concert by the American singer with hand-cut cardboard stars, moons and other astronomical objects, inspired by the video. If you’re up-to-date with David Lynch’s latest Twin Peaks, you won’t want to miss Lana’s performance!

Delta force

Echoes of days gone by also resound on the third album by indie rock artists alt-J. Don’t be misled by the title, though: Relaxer features sombre existential themes and gloomy sounds, perhaps best demonstrated with the subdued Last Year telling a story of loneliness. The remaining seven tracks include the initially unrecognisable cover of the cult House of the Rising Sun. The past also returns with In Cold Blood, featuring trombones and trumpets and recorded at the legendary Abbey Road Studios. Pleader puts us in a mood full of pathos and mysticism; parts of the track were recorded at the Gothic Ely Cathedral where Gus Unger-Hamilton, the band’s keyboardist and vocalist, once sang in a boys’ choir. Although the album may sound cold on first listening, it comes to life over time. Described as successors to Radiohead, the lads from under the delta sign are bound to treat us to their greatest hits Breezeblocks, Matilda and Left Hand Free – classics of contemporary alternative music.

Record holder

He was just a little boy when he decided that one day he would be inked all over. Wiz Khalifa got his first tat at 16 when his mother took him to a tattoo artist’s studio. He is close to meeting his goal on that front, and he’s certainly an accomplished musician – there is no doubt that he is one of America’s leading rappers. But that’s not why his name is written in the annals of contemporary pop culture: in July, the video to his See You Again became the most frequently watched track on YouTube, with the king of Pittsburgh overthrowing the five-year rule of Gangnam Style. The latest record stands at close to three billion viewings… Co-recorded with Charlie Puth, the track was launched in 2015 and it received over a billion hits within just six months. It was featured on the soundtrack to The Fast and the Furious 7, paying homage to Paul Walker – star of the film series who died tragically in 2013. For some, Wiz is just about drugs and parties, but for others he’s someone with a turbocharged positive attitude. His performance is bound to be entertaining! He is about to launch his latest album Rolling Papers 2, and the single Gang Up is associated with the next, eighth instalment of the Fast and the Furious saga. And let’s not forget that his 2011 hit Black & Yellow got a lease of new life thanks to being associated with the protagonist of LEGO Batman. Looking at his career, he is one well-put-together musician!

Mature youth

Her full name is Jasmine Lucilla Elizabeth Jennifer van den Bogaerde, so it’s just as well that she performs under her childhood nickname Birdy. She was just 14 when her cover of Bon Iver’s Skinny Love launched her to fame in her native UK. Her life has changed dramatically since then: she left home, recorded three albums and toured the world. She has also performed during the opening ceremony of the paralympics, received a nomination for a Brit Award (in the British Female Solo Artist category) and penned tracks for soundtracks to The Fault in Our Stars and The Hunger Games. Quite something! As she’s just 21, the artist has plenty more to say for herself. “I’d love to run around not caring what anyone thinks. But that’s not me and you have to be who you are. I’m not a rebel,” she said in an interview with the British daily “The Telegraph”. And she’s quite right! She’s aware of her wide vocal range, she writes honest, moving folk-pop songs and she picks experienced collaborators, all of which is earning Birdy growing numbers of fans.

To Poland!

As well as these five headliners, the organisers Alter Art have also invited an eclectic group of Polish musicians. On 18 and 19 August, the Czyżyny-Rakowice airfield features the rapper Pezet making a welcome return after a few years off, the versatile Ten Typ Mes freely blending rap and electronica, the incredible vocalist Piotr Zioła, one of the most important new artists of 2016 Bovska, and Mateusz Holak known from his work with Małe Miasta. Pablopavo and Ludziki promote their latest album Ladinola, while Ralph Kaminski presents the boundless sounds from his outstanding debut album Morze. (Artur Jackowski, "Karnet" magazine)

announcement from 26 July:

Travis Scott at Kraków Live Festival! One of the most anticipated artists of the summer in Poland will perform on August 18 in Kraków!

Nick Murphy fka Chet Faker at Kraków Live Festival! He will perform on August 19!

 

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