Help checking a release added to an artist which changed their name please

The ambient duo Montano changed their name to Tonkyn Pearson in 2021:

Someone had already added Tonkyn Pearson as an alias to Montano:

I understand that as the group is the same people, their albums should be linked.
I thought that perhaps the “artist as credited” field might allow me to make the Tonkyn Pearson name display (whilst keeping the link) but it looks as though this is only for collaborations, right? Artist Credits - MusicBrainz

So I have added one of their albums released under the Tonkyn Pearson name:

Does it look correct? I’d appreciate any advice…

Thanks for trying to clean this up! It sounds like the artists consider this to be the same group, just with a different name. From their short artist blurb on Bandcamp:

Duo f.k.a. Montano, creating ambient music.

The “about” text on goes into more detail:

This is our first release under a new project name. About 20 years ago we started making music as a duo, and picked the name on Shanan’s apartment’s doorbell as our project name. What we’re doing has slowly moved away from being music about place to being music more about our experience of sound. So it made sense to change that chanced-upon name to something that was more of a direct reflection of the things that shaped who we are. Tonkyn and Pearson are names picked from Shanan and Michael’s respective family trees.

Your open edits to update the artist credits on the release ( and tracklist (Edit #96484586 - MusicBrainz) seem reasonable to me if the right approach is to preserve the original artist entity using the “Montano” name.

Given that it sounds like they plan to use the “Tonkyn Pearson” name going forward, I think it may make more sense to update the existing artist to use “Tonkyn Pearson” as its name and “Montano” as an alias. I think that the downside is that their earlier releases (luckily there are only two in MB) might need to be updated to have “Montano” artist credits.

The only other option I can think of would be creating a new artist entity for “Tonkyn Pearson”, but that doesn’t really seem correct if the artists consider these to just be different names for the same project.

I looked at some high-profile examples of artists who changed their names mid-career, and it seems like the most-common approach is to use a single artist entity with the currently-used name:

Cat Stevens changed his legal name to Yusuf Islam but appears to still release albums using the “Cat Stevens” name, so the artist entity still uses that name too.

There’s a separate artist for Snoop Lion, but that seems like a distinct side project from Snoop Dogg.


So, just to confirm, I should change this artist name: Montano - MusicBrainz to Tonkyn Pearson?

Then I use the Artist as credited field to turn it back to Montano for each release?
(I hope to add all of their other releases in the fullness of time)


I think so… but you might want to wait to see if anyone else has thoughts about this, since I haven’t found any explicit guidance in the documentation. :slight_smile:


That is the normal way of doing things when someone changes a name. Your description is correct. :slight_smile:

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As long as you don’t tick ‘rename artist credits’ (or something like that) when you change the name, it will retain all the old ‘Montano’ credits :+1:


Ok, good! The last thing I would want is to mess things up. The reason I am adding these is so that I can get linked data on Listenbrainz and to log my “listens” on Picard via this method


OK, artist name updated, I guess I have to wait a bit for the change to come in to play… Montano - MusicBrainz

OK, this group is now displaying with the new name:

(I’ve submitted an edit to change the credits on their newest release too)

  • I have added the two previous releases under the new name.
    The earlier releases under the original name are also displaying correctly - yay!

BUT, now if you search for “Montano” under artist, this artist does not come up.

This artist was originally called “Montano (Tonkyn Pearson)” on MB (so it came up when searching under both names)
So, should I now add “(Montano)” to the artist name? i.e. “Tonkyn Pearson (Montano)”

Thanks to all who have assisted in my cataloguing of weird NZ ambient field recording music…

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You need to add an alias. This isn’t done automatically for you except for merges.

It should also be noted that the search can be lousy, especially with aliases the result might be scored lower and appear on later pages


That is where the alias comes in. Add that older name as an alias and the search should find it. (Or maybe the search has to reindex and will catch up later…)

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Aha… this lists the artist’s aliases:

and Montano is under there, but, I guess, as you say it needs a bit of time to go through?

Aren’t the artist credited used as aliases by the indexed search?

Now it’s found but an alias has been added already.
I did not search before to witness the problem.

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