CULTURE

Songsmith returns to his customary haunt in Athens

Despite minimal promotional support for today’s aggressive standards, a steady flow of compelling songwriting backed by convincing performances in recent years have generated one of the country’s most devoted followings for songsmith Socrates Malamas. His widening exposure, most of it fanned by word-of-mouth enthusiasm, have made Malamas more popular than ever since his meek emergence a little over a decade ago. Yet considering his latest modest moves, Malamas is maintaining a low-key approach. He recently released a sparsely arranged, dark-toned, almost-eerie sounding album, «Ena,» dominated mostly by two acoustic guitars and Malamas’s ruggedly low-pitched vocal delivery. To support the new album, Malamas has severely undercut his following’s capacity by opting to perform just a limited number of shows at one of his favorite old haunts in the capital, the Metro Club (39 Kalvou, Gyzi, 210.642.6527). Already a third of the way through, Malamas has two Thursday-to-Sunday runs to go, this week and next. Over a course of eight albums to date, Malamas has developed a unique songwriting style that blends subtle elements from the West into a more dominant Eastern framework. His material ranges from melancholy balladry to sturdier outbursts in the form of old-school popular Greek, all branded with a distinctive songwriting style. And as for onstage authenticity, the man’s ability to connect with fans is unrivaled on the domestic circuit.