On Oct 12th Complimentary Colors, a duo of amazing and brilliant married musical ladies, set the scene at Mississippi Pizza to release their new album named “Complimentary Colors in Dandyland”. The EP is a collaborative effort with the folks at Dandyland Studios, and consists of 5 songs deep in the heart of wonderful folk songwriting and queer tradition. The show was truly one for the whole family, as was evident as you walked in the door: parents with happy young children found their seats with delicious pizza, anxiously awaiting the start of the performance.
Up first was Stephanie Strange, who also plays out under “Strange and The Familiars”. With smart lyrics, smart guitar work, and a great sense of humor, Stephanie easily found room in her set and songs to switch between plucky folk singing, and a sometimes vibrato-led pseudo-operatic inspired voice! She used a lot of great ideas for her lyrical ideas, and had a great mastery of “mood” when it came to what chords she decided to play. With perfect unity between her voice and her instrument, she was able to quickly paint worlds and experiences for us to exist within. She mentioned to me that playing solo was “always a challenge”, as to how easy or hard it is to get a crowd with you emotionally, but the kids in the crowd seemed to help. She says, “I love playing for kids…you never have to wonder if they’re into it and they’re not self conscious. and then of course opening for Complimentary Colors was wonderful. I’d never seen them perform. I fell in love with both of them halfway through the first song.”
And it seemed that was the case for everyone in the room. After Stephanie Strange took a bow, and a short break for getting set up, Camille Rose and Ashley Elizabeth from Complimentary Colors took the stage with a small battalion of tiny instruments (all whom had their own names!). They immediately became a presence in the room with their amazing vocal harmonies which ranged from angelic to a deep bluesy growl. These two performers pack quite a punch with their wide range of expressive and creative outlets, making use of great songwriting ideas, tiny pianos, ukuleles, singing bowls, and the best god damn kazoo playing I have ever heard in my life (and I have heard a lot!). They even had their pal and Dandyland Producer Joey Helpish hop up on stage with them to beatbox, and create a really interesting mix of sound textures. The two made note throughout the night that they had been sick throughout the week and singing was tough, but I couldn’t really notice. If that was their vocal quality when they were just recovering from strep throat, I am not sure I would be able to handle the god-like attributes of their golden tones at full strength! Ending the set on an empowering, acapella song-chant which was held up by a beat of playing pattycakes, singing into each others eyes, Complimentary Colors had the whole pizza joint singing along by the end.
The show overall had an amazing, warm, vibrant feeling of community to it. It was especially awesome to see a show at a space that was so child and kid-friendly, at a time that was accessible to anyone who loves music but also has the responsibilities to their family. Camille Rose felt it was a very important issue to her, she commented, “I work with kids and young adults during my day job. Ashley and I have many dear friends with kids, babies to teens. One of the most important things to both of us is our community and we think it’s awful that the families we know never get to come out and see our shows. For these reasons, it was important to us that the EP release show was a celebration that everyone could attend. Plus, it’s great to see NEW young people get involved with our music. Maybe that’s why we love the tiny instruments so much.”
Editor’s Note: We welcome Ruune as our newest contributing writer! See his bio on our About page.