“Spirit Tell Me”
Harmonious Grits LLC (release date: November 11, 2020)
By Robert M. Marovich
More of a quiet storm R&B song than a gospel tune in feel though not in lyric, “Spirit Tell Me” explores the anxiety felt in the midst of trouble, and the confidence that comes with letting go and trusting the Spirit to do the guiding.
To a swirl of strings, pregnant pauses, a delicate melody, and in a voice that registers pure wonder, Cecily prays the lyrics of a song that sounds written for Minnie Riperton. The singer’s vulnerability is evident throughout.
The DC-based soprano Cecily grew up listening to Miles Davis records, and “Spirit Tell Me” evokes the great jazz artist in its fearless use of silences and dynamics. Not ending on the tonic suggests that reaching out to the Spirit is an act of faith, a brave leap into the unknown.
The song is a creative collaboration with fellow Washingtonian and Grammy-nominated singer and producer Muhsinah, and the first single from Cecily’s forthcoming album Awakening, Part 2. Quite a talent that more people need to hear.