Although the songs on Mystique's debut album, "Which Boots? Witch Boots!" vary wildly from piano ballads about love and loss to a hard-core rant on individuality, the consistency is in the substantial songwriting, the musical talent and the obvious passion the band has for making music. Mystique is made up of six teens from communities around Salt Lake City, who until October 2011, had never played together, but happened to join the same musical program at Spy Hop Productions. “It started off very awkward”, said instructor and mentor Jeremy Chatelain, “No one wanted to talk or express themselves and now I can’t get them to stop writing or talking– they could have written another entire album of songs.”
That open collaboration is evident in the cohesiveness of the band, despite diverse musical backgrounds. Guitarist/singer Vinny Cavalcanti, 17, is the band’s “batteries”, introspective writer, Angel Nolazco, 17, plays bass, sax, beatbox and sings; heavy metal influenced Liam Elkington, 17, and jazz trained, 15 year old Nick Miller, are both quiet souls who speak loudly through their considerable talent on guitar. However, the band’s strength lies in their two female vocalists; Emme Nelson, 16, the melodic heart of the band and, Austin Wolfe, a 15 year-old, whose passionate voice and songwriting drives many of the soulful songs on the album.
From the impatience of youth in “Big Feet” and the heartbreak of a broken first love in “Stay With Me” to the dense lyrics about the consequences of alcohol and drug abuse in “Psychological Cool Guy” (which grew out of a songwriting exercise the first week of class), the album gives listeners an intense and personal overview of the teenage experience. These personal songs are also what makes the album so completely relatable to the rest of the population.