Banks performed her recent track “Contaminated” on The Late Show alongside an orchestra, giving the heartbroken song an evocative and bittersweet vibe. The emotional track comes off the musician’s recent third album III.
As the string section soars, Banks passionately croons, “And I wish I could change it/ And we’re always gonna be contaminated/ And oh, I know what we need/ You start letting me go/ Our love is tainted.” The singer allows the song’s emotion to do the talking as she remains nearly motionless behind a microphone during the performance.
Banks previously said of the song, which was produced by BJ Burton, “‘Contaminated’ is about being addicted to a toxic relationship. The more you give, the less of yourself you become.”
III dropped in July, Banks’ first album since 2016’s The Altar. She is currently on a lengthy North American tour that opens September 3rd in Toronto and concludes October 19th in Miami. She recently told Rolling Stone that it was her interest in poetry that led her to crafting such engaging lyrics. “When I write a sentence that has a certain flow to it, it almost sounds like a riddle,” she said. “Like in [my song] ‘The Fall’: ‘Still tripping to slip in your own dirty fingers to dip in the chicken now.’ I like how it kind of sounds like a tongue twister. I like that type of stuff, and I always have, even when I was younger. I’ve been interested in how, sonically, words come out.”