The new album features Garland singing and playing piano, acoustic and electric bass guitar, vibraphone, acoustic and electric guitar, flutes, chord harmonica, analog synth, accordion, bowed psaltery, percussion, drums, Taliesen quartzite, branches, and more. He created the sometimes elaborate arrangements, which include performances by violinist Meredith Yayanos and trumpeter Ron Horton. Guest singers Karen Mantler and Sport Murphy also make special appearances, singing songs Garland wrote for them.
Garland says, “I’m sticking my neck out with this album. It’s personal, and it’s not safely conventional-but it’s not safely avant garde either. Since I was a kid I’ve been working out my own ways of exploring and innovating the possibilities of song. My radio work obliges me to be aware of trends, but my own music is fad-free. Here I’m using mostly acoustic instruments-real sounds, played by hand- and working with themes that connect and intertwine to create a varied but tight-knit group of songs.”
“I had already recorded three albums of what I call ‘control songs’-about that sense of control we all use to help us function. For ‘On the Other Side of the Window’ the unifying theme is communication. These songs are about our need for communication, but also our avoidance and manipulation of it.”