University of Utah Student Kirby Dorsey Releases New Song “Stranger”


Courtesy of Kirby Dorsey. Photo by Steve Selman Photography.

By Adelina Whitten


It’s hard to keep up with schoolwork when there are multitudes of extracurriculars you may want to participate in. It’s difficult to do, but not impossible. University of Utah student Kirby Dorsey defeats the odds as a musician, songwriter and traveler. The undergraduate tackles a horde of responsibilities, but her hard work has paid off. Dorsey is releasing an entire album amidst her school career.

Dorsey recently released one of her new songs. “Stranger” is a pop-tune written with and about her ex-boyfriend in New York. According to Dorsey, “… He looked different and almost like a stranger” when she first saw him after the break-up.

You would expect a song about an ex to be slow and sad, but this isn’t the case with her new release. “Stranger” maintains all of the emotion expected in a break-up, but it also picks up the pace. It was Dorsey’s ex-boyfriend who thought that it would do well as a pop tune.

“The song was originally slow and sad on guitar, but the producer, my ex-boyfriend, decided it would do really well as a pop song,” she said.

It was definitely the right choice to make the track into pop. It’s hard to get the song out of your head, especially upon the first listen. “Stranger” is rhythmic, catchy and has an overall nice feel to it. However, the process of writing the track was seemingly tricky, considering the history between Dorsey and her producer. Dorsey recalls what it was like to see him after nearly seven months.

“I was different, he was different,” she said. “The first three — I think the first three — days were just like really, really awkward with each other … but then after that, we were just like brother and sister. Like we were goofing around and it was just really fun.”

Courtesy of Kirby Dorsey. Photo by Steve Selman Photography.

In addition to the single, Dorsey is releasing an album sometime in January. The record, “Kool Kid,” will feature around 10 songs. She will travel to New York over Christmas break to record two more songs. According to Dorsey, the album features content relating to post-relationship self-assessment.

“Because I think when you’re in a relationship you change a lot, so when you get out you’re sort of figuring yourself out again, just independently,” she said. “And so, I think it’s a lot more about that. Not necessarily, like, love, but figuring yourself out after a relationship.”

The subject of both “Stranger” and the rest of the album is relatable to most people. Relationships come and go, but the feelings intertwined remain for a long time afterward. Perhaps this is why the single, and probably the rest of the record, are such a genuine peek into Dorsey herself.

A month feels like a long time to wait for what is sure to be an incredible album. Fortunately, we’re privy to see Dorsey live at Kilby Court next month too, around the same time as the album release. The show is seriously unique — all of the performers will be women.

“This is actually a really cool show, and I didn’t even plan it,” Dorsey said. “Everyone that’s performing are female, which is really rad.”

What’s even cooler than a show of all women is a fellow student at the U doing great things. If the rest of her music is anything like “Stranger,” chances are that Dorsey will go far. Her music career is sure to skyrocket soon. I suggest you take a moment to listen.

Check out “Stranger” on Spotify or iTunes.

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