There’s a phenomenon that happens to singers from non-American countries. Because most popular music comes to them from the States, they grow up listening to and singing American songs. So when they start writing their own music, they’ll imitate the sounds they equate with popular music and sing in American accents.
It spans genres —folk, pop, rock — America is the default. They’ll rhyme "can’t" with "pants," and over-emphasize their rs. It happened to the Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin; it happened Muse, Phoenix, Gin Wigmore, and rafts of Scandinavian folk singers. It’ll happen to you, too.
That’s why it’s so refreshing (and too often surprising) to hear musicians sing in their own accents. Not only does it feel more authentic, but it’s a validation of these voices in music and their rightful place on the world stage.
A great recent example is Courtney Barnett, whose music meanders through personal, local Australian tales which would be completely disingenuous if sung in someone else’s voice. Allow me to introduce the Courtney Barnett of New Zealand: Anthonie Tonnon.
Tonnon played for years in Dunedin under the moniker Tono and the Finance Company, but dropped it recently to begin releasing music under his own name. “Railway Lines,” the first song off Tonnon’s debut Successor, chronicles the quiet life of an ineffectual middle-aged man watching his city outgrow him, and it does so in a tone of unapologetic celebration. It’s small and local, yet builds into something universal and sincere.