As you'll notice in Susannah's lovely introduction to the month of February, we editors will be focusing on the international scene as much as we can. I was extremely excited when I first heard about this theme because the possibilities are endless. There are hundreds of artists already here in America that we listen to everyday, and even more that haven't scratched the surface of the American music industry, but will soon enough. To get an idea of what foreign artists you may already be listening to, I have put together a playlist of 10 artists from 10 countries. Expect much more in-depth analysis of what these countries (and others) are bringing to the table throughout the month, but this should be a nice place to start. Enjoy!

Germany (pop. 81,768,000) - Digitalism
Fancy cars, fancy beers and (not-so) fancy bratwurst come to mind when thinking of Deutschland. Perhaps the best known German acts here in America are older bands like Scorpions and Rammstein, but it seems today the most popular scene in Germany lies in its many discotheques and outdoor festivals, like the famous Fuckparade in Berlin. Just watch out for Techno Viking -- he won't stop for anyone! Not even Digitalism.

France (pop. 65,350,000) - M83
Along with a beautifully elegant language, the French are known for their pristine artistry. With architecture like the Eiffel Tower in Paris, film-makers like Jean-Pierre Jeunet (Amelie, Delicatessen) and a long history of musicians, including legendary DJs Daft Punk, there is an endless amount of creative fervor. M83 is only one of the latest in a long line of brilliant artwork.

England (pop. 51,446,000) - Four Tet
From all the bands England has produced (The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Queen, the list goes on forever), to all the amazing landmarks (Stonehenge, Buckingham Palace, St. Paul's Cathedral... seriously, another forever-list), I think my favorite thing here is the fish n' chips. Can you think of a better summertime meal? I'm looking forward to it already.

Canada (pop. 34,605,346) - Caribou
Looky here! It's our friendly neighbors up north, eh. And look here, here and here for a very small example of some of the amazing acts those there Canadians have blessed us with in recent years. Honestly though, this is my favorite thing about Canada.

Australia (pop. 22,818,965) - Cut Copy
I really don't like Mel Gibson. Buttttt, I'll give the Aussies the benefit of the doubt; they can't all be so crazy. And if they keep pushing out lively acts like Architecture in Helsinki and "an orse" (see: An Horse), I may completely forget about Mr. Gibson altogether. Or maybe if they set up a boxing match between Mel Gibson and a kangaroo -- a really big kangaroo. Then... all's good.

Sweden (pop. 9,475,954) - The Knife
Stockholm, Sweden is home to the world's first ever permanent ice bar (literally a bar made out of ice), which I always wanted to go to when I was in high school. Now that I'm a bit older, I realize I don't particularly care for cold weather, and find myself much more intrigued by the thrill of watching the midnight sun whilst laying next to Lykke Li.

Scotland (pop. 5,222,100) - Mogwai
Australia should watch out for Scotland -- they have friggin' Sean Connery! They also have bagpipes, which, in my opinion, are completely under utilized in modern indie music. Don't they know it's the bagpipe player who gets all the ladies?! And if he's wearing a kilt... game over. Unfortunately I do not have any avant-bagpipe-pop to share with you today, but Mogwai should suffice.

Norway (pop. 4,991,000) - Royksopp
Attending an overseas music festival is near the top of my bucket list -- and my top choice is the Oslo Live Festival. The music scene in Oslo isn't much of a worldwide power, but their population is as passionate as anyone, anywhere. Having successfully moved beyond the days of A-Ha, their music scene has opened up and supports acts of any style. 

Ireland (pop. 4,581,269) - Bell X1
Now one year into my (legal) drinking escapades, I have become quite adventurous with my beer choices. The full-flavored, hoppy taste of an IPA has me parched just thinking about it. But Guinness. Oh lovely, lovely Guinness. Ireland's famous beer isn't nearly as good as it should be by the time we drink it here in America (or so I've been told). So add the Guinness factory to my bucket list too. Hopefully I can make it there by Saturday -- I'd love to stop by The O2 in Dublin and watch Van Morrison.

Iceland (pop. 318,452) - Sigur Ros
Natural landmarks are in abundance in Iceland, from the world's tallest geyser to outrageously beautiful waterfalls, but all I really want to know is what the hell Sigur Ros is saying!